Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

January 7, 2009
Coaches wanted (and needed) in Raiderland

Raider coaches continue to flee.

Though their contracts run through Jan. 13, they were free to negotiate with other teams as of today.

And they didn't waste any time looking for new employment.

ESPN reports Rob Ryan will join Eric Mangini in Cleveland as his defensive coordinator. Running backs coach Tom Rathman has agreed to take the same job with the 49ers, where he spent most of his NFL playing days.

The Chronicle reports special teams coordinator Brian Schneider was in Jacksonville for an interview and will also visit Seattle.

Well who's left?

There's interim head coach/offensive line coach Tom Cable, who could become the head coach.

Tight ends coach Kelly Skipper hasn't officially bolted yet.

Wide receivers coach James Lofton is still under contract.

Linebackers coach Don Martindale, defensive line coach Keith Millard and defensive backs coach Darren Perry haven't taken new jobs yet.

(oops, forgot to mention quarterbacks coach John DeFillipo here).

Martindale might be in line to be the Raiders next defensive coordinator. He could also resurface in Cleveland and will draw interest from several other teams.

Millard was one of the coaches Lane Kiffin wanted to fire last year.

So after years of continuity on the defensive staff with Ryan, Martindale and Millard that side of the ball will get a makeover.

Ryan will get a chance to run a defense without Al Davis looking over his shoulder. Even though it's known around the NFL Davis has say on the defense, Ryan fell on the sword more than once for Davis and his players when the unit struggled.

Hiring Cable might become a necessity at this point. Keeping him could fill the roles of head coach, offensive line coach and play-caller.

The Raiders won two straight with Cable handling all those duties to close out the 2008 season.

--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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