Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

January 13, 2009
Raiders: New coach will decide Lofton's role

Just checked in with the Raiders about reports that James Lofton has been fired as wide receivers coach.

Senior executive John Herrera said Lofton is still with the team and that it would be up to the next head coach to decide what capacity Lofton would be used in.

So I asked if that meant whoever the next head coach is could keep Lofton as receivers coach if he chose, Herrera said reiterated that Lofton would be used in whatever role the new coach wanted.

It sounds like Lofton, who probably had the hardest job of any position coach on the Raiders in 2008, will earn his pay by not coaching receivers. Because he is still under contract, he could be reassigned in the front office. That's what happened to Charles Coe when Lofton was hired.

Herrera would not confirm that quality control assistant Sanjay Lal would be the new receivers coach. Adam Schefter of the NFL Network reported Lal signed a two-year
extension and would be promoted to receivers coach.

Being demoted or reassigned would be a dramatic change in status for Lofton, who twice interviewed to be the Raiders head coach before joining the staff last year.

The Raiders wide receivers were largely unproductive in 2008, but most would argue Lofton had very little to work with.

Lofton's position group was hit with injuries and by the end of the season his most experienced receiver was second-year pro Johnnie Lee Higgins.

The Raiders have added Lionel Washington to the coaching staff. He coached cornerbacks and worked with team's nickel package in Green Bay. He'd been on the Packers staff since 1999 before the team decided to purge its staff after a disappointing season.

Washington played for the Raiders from 1987-94 and 1997.

--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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