Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

January 19, 2009
(Assistant) coach news

Kelly Skipper will return to the Raiders as the running backs coach. He replaces Tom Rathman, who took the same job with the 49ers.

It was also announced that Lionel Washington CQ has joined the staff as defensive backs coach, replacing Darren Perry.

Skipper coached tight ends for two seasons in Oakland, but played running back at Fresno State and coached running backs for the Bulldogs and at Washington State.

Skipper has the fortune of going from coaching the team's best offensive player (TE Zach Miller) to now handling the deepest position on the Raiders.

Washington played cornerback for the Raiders (1987-94, 97) and has spent the last 10 seasons in Green Bay.

He was the assistant defensive backs coach from 1999-04 and handled cornerbacks and the team's "nickel" package from 2005 until being fired this offseason along with most of the defensive staff.

I'd be shocked if Nnamdi Asomugha hasn't made a call to Charles Woodson to discuss Washington.

Asomugha will be a free agent, but the Raiders will almost certainly franchise him again.

*Raider senior executive John Herrera told the San Jose Mercury News the ESPN report that linebackers coach Don Martindale had emerged, as a head-coaching candidate was "totally untrue."

The San Francisco Chronicle, however, still reports Martindale is a candidate to be head coach after he met with owner Al Davis Saturday.

Herrera said before the interview Martindale was going to discuss the defense with Davis.

Here's why I'm inclined to believe the Raiders on this one. It's entirely possible Davis discussed the position with Martindale. But Davis did the same thing with Greg Knapp and Paul Hackett before naming Tom Cable interim head coach.

When it comes to the Raiders, a conversation doesn't equate candidacy for the job.

--Jason Jones

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About Raiders Blog and Q&A

Matt Kawahara was born in Sacramento and attended McClatchy High School and UC Berkeley, where he wrote for the independent student paper The Daily Californian. He graduated from Cal in 2010 and started at The Sacramento Bee as a summer intern. He joined The Bee's sports staff in fall 2011.

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