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Instant Raiders

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It’s 2002 all over again

You’ve probably seen the ESPN report stating that Tom Cable will be the Raiders’ head coach in 2009. Team spokesman John Herrera denied that owner Al Davis has reached a decision, but with each passing day of inactivity, Cable appears closer to the job. It’s a strange scenario. Davis has spoken with several other coaches ” whether for the head position or otherwise ” since the Raiders’ season ended Dec. 28. One of them was Cable, who guided the team… Read More »

No former Raiders to be found in Big Game

We all know the Raiders didn’t arrive in Tampa today to take on the Arizona Cardinals. What’s a little surprising is that beyond current Raiders, there won’t even be any former Raiders in Super Bowl XLIII. One of my favorite images from last year’s Bowl occurred late in the game. The TV camera cut to Giants coach Tom Coughlin, brooding on the sideline, and who walked in front of him but Kevin Boothe, who played with the Raiders as a… Read More »

Here’s a thought: Herm Edwards

I’m already on the record as stating that it’s a bad idea to hire offensive and defensive coordinators before the head coach is in place. But for some reason, Al Davis isn’t heeding my advice. (Maybe because during the summer, I predicted Atlanta would be the worst team in the NFL.) Davis had scheduled a meeting with Scott Linehan, almost certainly to discuss the O-coordinator job, before Linehan accepted a similar role in Detroit. So if Al insists on just… Read More »

Part of the problem

Forget the Rooney model. Don’t even consider a scenario in which a benevolent owner stands in the background and hands out praise and free-agent money, allowing his appointed coach to run the football team. The Rooneys haven’t fired a coach since Art Sr. hired Chuck Noll in 1969 ” think about that a moment ” and in 11 days the Steelers will be playing for their sixth Super Bowl title, which would be a record. But Al Davis has never… Read More »

Martindale in the mix — for the big job

It had already been noted that Don Martindale, who has served as Raiders linebackers coach for five seasons, was interviewing with Al Davis for the defensive coordinator position. Today, ESPN and then the San Francisco Chronicle upped the ante, reporting that Davis is now considering Martindale as his next head coach. Martindale’s suitability for this role is debatable. It’s rare for a position coach to skip the whole coordinator level and go straight to head coach, but it’s not unprecedented.… Read More »

Could Bruce Allen become Raiders GM?

The lesson here, folks: Don’t lose to this team if you want to retain your job. The Raiders won five games in 2008; three of the five coaches who lost to them have now been fired (Eric Mangini, Mike Shanahan, Jon Gruden), and another (Herm Edwards) remains on the precipice. Only Houston’s Gary Kubiak survived the indignity. Gruden’s availability will generate all sorts of chuckles regarding a return to Oakland. (Art Shell came back for Round 2, why not Chucky?)… Read More »

Raiders dominate the 2008 playoffs

The Raiders didn’t catch a whiff of the playoffs this year, as we all know. They were, if not mathematically, at least realistically eliminated from contention by the season’s midpoint ” even in the weak AFC West. And yet the 2008 NFL postseason bears a brand that looks suspiciously like a one-eyed pirate in a football helmet. By beating the Buccaneers in Tampa Bay to finish the season ” a result that practically no one of sound mind predicted ”… Read More »

Moss is in Oakland — and it’s not Randy

It is confirmed. Winston Moss will meet with Al Davis this afternoon to discuss the Raiders’ vacant head coaching position. Team official John Herrera just acknowledged the scheduled meeting. Moss, who turned 43 on Christmas Eve, has been the Packers’ assistant head coach for two years, and their linebackers coach for three. He was the only major defensive coach to survive that team’s recent purge. Moss worked with Mike McCarthy for six seasons in New Orleans, and when McCarthy got… Read More »

Is Trestman a candidate?

Another name has popped in the Raiders’ semi-annual coaching search: Marc Trestman. Raiders fans will remember Trestman as the team’s offensive coordinator in 2002, when Oakland won the AFC championship and lit up defenses behind the dizzying passing of Rich Gannon. Huge fans of the 110-yard field know Trestman as the guy who had the Montreal Alouettes battling for the Canadien Football League’s Grey Cup last season. Former NFL general manager and current CBS analyst Charley Casserly brought up Trestman… Read More »

Canton, here comes Rod Woodson

Rod Woodson, to no one’s surprise, is among the 15 finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame class of 2009. If Woodson were somehow a borderline candidate, I’d fill this space arguing his credentials for the Hall. Fortunately, that’s not necessary. He’s a 100-percent-guaranteed lock for first-ballot enshrinement. The short version: Woodson was a deadly kick returner early in his career, and good enough at cornerback to make the NFL’s elite 75th anniversary team (along with Night Train Lane,… Read More »