Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

January 26, 2009
Quick Q&A

It's a slow work week since I'm not in Tampa. Also, the Raiders still don't have a head coach.

So I'll try to answer some of the questions that have found their way to my inbox.

Question: Why are the Raiders hiring assistant coaches while not having named a head coach? Does this mean Tom Cable will definitely be the new head coach?

Answer: Because there are some coaches Al Davis wants on his staff, regardless of whom the new head coach will be.

The Raiders would argue their coaches have plenty of say over the makeup of their staff. But there will be certain coaches that Davis will keep around (or not, hence James Lofton's firing).

Lane Kiffin was allowed to hire several assistants. But the final say lies with Davis, which is why Rob Ryan was back as defensive coordinator for the 2008 season.

That's just how the Raiders work. Davis is the boss and you can either work within those constraints if you want to coach under Davis or get fired, like Kiffin did.

While I think Cable is likely to be named head coach I don't think it's a certainty. I only say that because of this delay in making that decision official.

The delay would seem to indicate Davis believes there is someone else out there that might be better suited for the job. That's just a hunch on my part.

I think the Raiders still need to talk to Jim Fassel, who is qualified, fits what the Raiders need and would welcome the chance to coach in Oakland.

And the rumors about Marc Trestman have persisted so long it's likely there is some interest from the Raiders.

But whoever becomes the coach, he will have part of his coaching staff put together.

Question: Could Jon Gruden come back to Oakland?

Answer: No. Though Gruden has said plenty of nice things publicly, his departure (well, being traded to) Tampa Bay wasn't without some animosity.

Here are a couple of theories as to why the relationship soured:

1. Gruden believed he had a deal in place for a new contract with the Raiders and that Davis went back on his financial commitment. From there, Gruden had no intention of staying with the Raiders.

2. Davis believed Gruden would leave and he'd receive nothing for his head coach. Remember all the rumors of Gruden going to Notre Dame or Ohio State?

3. Gruden wanted what no coach would get from Davis: more control.

So while it would make for a nice story, it's not going to happen.

--Jason Jones

About Comments

Reader comments on are the opinions of the writer, not The Sacramento Bee. If you see an objectionable comment, click the "report abuse" button below it. We will delete comments containing inappropriate links, obscenities, hate speech, and personal attacks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. See more about comments here.

What You Should Know About Comments on is happy to provide a forum for reader interaction, discussion, feedback and reaction to our stories. However, we reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments or ban users who can't play nice. (See our full terms of service here.)

Here are some rules of the road:

• Keep your comments civil. Don't insult one another or the subjects of our articles. If you think a comment violates our guidelines click the "report abuse" button to notify the moderators. Responding to the comment will only encourage bad behavior.

• Don't use profanities, vulgarities or hate speech. This is a general interest news site. Sometimes, there are children present. Don't say anything in a way you wouldn't want your own child to hear.

• Do not attack other users; focus your comments on issues, not individuals.

• Stay on topic. Only post comments relevant to the article at hand. If you want to discuss an issue with a specific user, click on his profile name and send him a direct message.

• Do not copy and paste outside material into the comment box.

• Don't repeat the same comment over and over. We heard you the first time.

• Do not use the commenting system for advertising. That's spam and it isn't allowed.

• Don't use all capital letters. That's akin to yelling and not appreciated by the audience.

You should also know that The Sacramento Bee does not screen comments before they are posted. You are more likely to see inappropriate comments before our staff does, so we ask that you click the "report abuse" button to submit those comments for moderator review. You also may notify us via email at Note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us the profile name of the user who made the comment. Remember, comment moderation is subjective. You may find some material objectionable that we won't and vice versa.

If you submit a comment, the user name of your account will appear along with it. Users cannot remove their own comments once they have submitted them, but you may ask our staff to retract one of your comments by sending an email to Again, make sure you note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us your profile name.

hide comments

On October 14, The Sacramento Bee will temporarily remove commenting from While we design the upgrade, we encourage you to tell us what you like and don't like about commenting on and other websites. We've heard from hundreds of you already and we're listening. Please continue to add your thoughts and questions here. We also encourage you to write Letters to the Editor on this and other topics.

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.

Raiders stories on

October 2013

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31