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News » Oakland Raiders Inside Slant 2009-01-06


Oakland Raiders Inside Slant 2009-01-06


Oakland Raiders Inside Slant 2009-01-06
When it comes to the Raiders, the postseason is essentially the green flag for another coaching search.


Interim coach Tom Cable led the Raiders to impressive victories in the final two games of the season -- the first time that has happened since they won the AFC championship in 2002.

Reports are circulating about coaches owner Al Davis is reportedly interested in hiring.

Cable's name was included, but others included:

--Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride, who interviewed by phone on Saturday. The Raiders can't talk to him again until after the Giants' season is over, and Gilbride is considered a long shot for the job.

--Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh, a former Raiders assistant under Bill Callahan in 1993 and Norv Turner in 1994 who left to become head coach at the University of San Diego.

--Former New York Giants coach Jim Fassel, who has made the rounds on radio shows saying he enjoyed working for Al Davis as a Raiders assistant in 1995.

--Montreal Alouettes coach Marc Trestman, offensive coordinator of the Raiders' AFC title team in 2002, swept out with Callahan in 2003.

--Raiders advance scout Paul Hackett, a former offensive coordinator with the Chiefs and Jets and college head coach at USC who joined the Raiders this year off the Tampa Bay staff.

--Baltimore Ravens quarterbacks coach Hue Jackson, credited with helping the development of rookie starter Joe Flacco.

Each makes sense in that they're offensive coaches -- which Davis prefers -- who would in theory be a fit for working with third-year quarterback JaMarcus Russell.

One problem.

According to senior executive John Herrera, Davis had not gotten nearly that far in the process with anyone outside of Gilbride.

"None of the reports are true," Herrera said. "Every one is false and unfounded. They're just throwing pie against the wall."

Herrera acknowledged Davis would like to move quickly, but noted, "that doesn't mean we need to do it by (Tuesday) or New Year's Eve."

Harbaugh has brought Stanford's program back to respectability in two years, if not to a bowl game. The Cardinal was 5-7 in 2008.

Cardinal athletic director Bob Bowlsby said in an e-mail, "Jim has agreed to terms on a contract extension which will put him under contract for six more years. The Raiders have not contacted me, Jim, or his agent."

The contract issue may not matter when it comes to a college-to-pro jump, whether Harbaugh signed it or not. During the season, Harbaugh said "he'd always take a call" from Davis and has always spoken in reverential tones of the owner.

In a radio interview, when discussing how Davis tried to talk him out of going from the Raiders to a head-coaching job at the University of San Diego, Harbaugh said he reminded Davis that he had once been a college coach.

"Yes," Davis said, "but I coached at USC, not USD."

Sources with the Raiders believe Cable put himself in a good position with wins over Houston and Tampa Bay to end the season, the first time the Raiders ended a regular season with two wins since 2002 and the first time they ended with two victories since their last Super Bowl win in the 1983 season.

Cable tried his best to deflect questions about his future but acknowledged he was under contract until Jan. 13 and would work on preparing evaluations until that time.

While the San Francisco 49ers moved quickly in signing interim coach Mike Singletary to a four-year contract, announcing it following their season-ending win against Washington, the Raiders must be more deliberate.

Even if Davis wanted to hire Cable immediately, he must first adhere to the "Rooney Rule" and interview a minority candidate.

Wide receivers coach James Lofton has interviewed twice before for the Raiders' head-coaching position, the first time when it went to Art Shell and the second time when Lane Kiffin was hired.

Baltimore's Jackson is African-American, as is Terry Robiskie, an ex-Raiders assistant Davis may be interested in. Robiskie is currently the Atlanta Falcons' wide receivers coach.



Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: January 6, 2009

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