Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

January 8, 2009
Cable's staff coming together?

Ed Donatell is the latest name to come up associated with the Raiders coaching vacancies.

The National Football Post reports Donatell will interview about being the Raiders' next defensive coordinator.

Donatell was most recently the defensive coordinator at the University of Washington, which couldn't stop almost the entire season. But he has an extensive background in the NFL, including time in Atlanta under Jim Mora, on the same staff as Tom Cable.

Donatell was also a coach at Idaho when Cable was a player and graduate assistant.

Donatell's defenses in Atlanta were 14th (2004) and 22nd (2005, 2006) in total defense.

But of more importance to Raider fans, Donatell's defenses were tied for eighth (2004), 26th (2005) and ninth (2006) against the run.

Such a move could indicate Cable is Al Davis' man and it would be a matter of time before Cable is named head coach.

The problem the Raiders might run in to is whether candidates would want to interview for the job if Donatell is hired and the staff in place appears to be put together for Cable.

And it could cost the Raiders money.

The Detroit Lions were fined $200,000 in 2003 for violating the Rooney Rule when hiring Steve Mariucci and not interviewing any minority candidates. The Lions said they tried to comply but coaches refused to interview believing the job was already Mooch's.

If Donatell is hired, that might be the case for the Raiders.

The Post also reports the Raiders have offered former Green Bay cornerbacks coach Lionel Washington their secondary coaching job.

Washington was one of the defensive coaches fired by Green Bay. He played cornerback for 15 seasons, including stints with the Raiders from 1987-94 and 1997.

Washington has been in Green Bay for 10 seasons, including a year with Donatell, who was the Packers' defensive coordinator from 1995-99.

Former offensive coordinator Greg Knapp and running backs coach Tom Rathman are the only coaches that have had their names removed from the Raiders web site (the team's way of announcing changes without sending out a press release).

--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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