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

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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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