Jon Gruden's Raiders Staff Beginning To Take Shape

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Jon Gruden's Raiders Staff Beginning To Take Shape

Postby blazin1 » Fri Jan 12, 2018 5:24 pm

ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Jon Gruden said his first priority upon returning as the Oakland Raiders coach on Tuesday was filling out his coaching staff, and he got off to a running start when he announced his three coordinators that day. Though members of former coach Jack Del Rio's staff have been told they can look for work elsewhere, a few are still listed on the team's official website. Here's a look, then, at Gruden's still-developing staff:

OFFENSE

Coordinator: Greg Olson

Gruden said he will call plays, so what does that leave for Olson, who was Derek Carr's first coordinator in Oakland back in 2014 and returns to the Raiders after serving as the Los Angeles Rams' QB coach last season? Perhaps he is more of a run-game coordinator, while working with Carr as a pseudo-QB coach.

Quarterbacks: Open

Rich Gannon, who resurrected his career under Gruden in Oakland and became the 2002 NFL MVP, was purportedly earmarked for this position. Until reality set in for Gannon, who has made a nice living as a CBS NFL analyst and said he realized he did not want to commit to the time and intensity needed to work under Gruden in this role. Perhaps the Raiders, with Gruden calling plays and Olson as coordinator, forgo the need for a quarterbacks coach. Or, get this, Oakland brings back Todd Downing, miscast as the coordinator this past season after two years as Carr's position coach, for continuity sake. Nah ... his office is already cleaned out. Jake Peetz is still listed, for what it's worth.

Receivers: Open

Rob Moore is still listed as the position coach but Tee Martin, the USC offensive coordinator who interviewed for the Raiders head-coaching job, has now been linked to this spot. Can Martin solve the case of the dropsies by Michael Crabtree, Amari Cooper, Seth Roberts, Johnny Holton & Co.?

Assistant receivers: Nick Holz

Six-year veteran assistant expected to return to his role helping out with the receivers.

Offensive line: Open

Mike Tice helped make the Raiders' line one of the most dominant in the NFL in 2016, and one of its most disappointing last season because the unit lost its identity -- power or zone-scheme? Tice is not expected to be welcomed back, not with as many as six line coaches interviewing, per Sirius XM, including Hal Hunter (Browns), Hank Fraley (UCLA), Dave DeGuglielmo (Dolphins) and Harold Goodwin (Cardinals). Hey, Tom Cable is available, too, just for old-time's sake.

Assistant offensive line: Open

Tim Holt is still listed by the Raiders, who had three linemen named to the Pro Bowl -- left tackle Donald Penn, left guard Kelechi Osemele and center Rodney Hudson.

Running backs: Open

Yes, Bernie Parmalee is still listed, though Jemal Singleton, who spent the past two seasons with the Colts and Frank Gore, is reportedly lined up to take the gig. If so, Singleton will either work with Marshawn Lynch, or help develop a new lead back in Oakland.

Tight ends: Open

Bobby Johnson, granted an interview for the head-coaching job in Oakland before Gruden signed his contract, was expected to return to the role he held the previous two seasons. Alas, the East-West Shrine Game's West coach is reportedly moving on while Frank Smith, who was the Bears' tight ends coach the previous three seasons, is coming in, per Sirius XM.

Quality control offense: Open

Nate Tice is still listed.

DEFENSE

Coordinator: Paul Guenther

Guenther had been the Cincinnati Bengals' defensive coordinator since 2014 and has authored defenses that have ranked 22nd, 22nd, 16th and 15th in yards allowed, respectively. Pro Football Focus had Guenther using 4-3-4 schemes and blitzing much less than the Raiders did last season, sending extra rushers on 16.6 percent of their plays, compared to Oakland's 23.4 percent blitz rate.

Defensive assistant: Open

Sam Anno is still listed, though former 49ers and Browns defensive coordinator Jim O'Neil is joining Gruden's staff as senior defensive assistant, per Sirius XM.

Defensive line: Open

Jethro Franklin is still listed and he has a connection with edge rusher Khalil Mack, even if Jihad Ward has some unflattering things to say about Franklin on social media. The Raiders still need more interior pressure.

Linebackers: Open

Though linebackers coach Sal Sunseri left for college (Florida), Travis Smith is still listed as the outside linebackers coach. Bruce Irvin came on strong as a pass-rusher late and the Raiders have to make a decision about whether to bring NaVorro Bowman back. And don't even ask about Aldon Smith, either.

Defensive backs: Open

Brent Vieselmeyer is still listed as safeties coach and Hall of Famer Rod Woodson is still there as cornerbacks coach, as is assistant head coach/defense John Pagano, who was initially hired by Del Rio to help with "communication" in the secondary before taking over as playcaller following the November firing of then-coordinator Ken Norton Jr. But Alabama secondary coach Derrick Ansley is reportedly on his way to Oakland. The Raiders have many questions in the secondary after their two top draft picks -- cornerback Gareon Conley and safety Obi Melifonwu -- played two and five games, respectively, and ended the season on injured reserve. Plus, cornerback Sean Smith is facing legal issues, cornerback David Amerson missed half the season with a foot injury and free safety Reggie Nelson is not expected to return.

SPECIAL TEAMS

Coordinator: Rich Bisaccia

Bisaccia was Gruden's special teams coach for his entire run in Tampa Bay. Bisaccia might have tough choices to make at kicker (Giorgio Tavecchio had some big misses late in the season) and long-snapper (Jon Condo, a former Pro Bowler, had a few too many bad snaps. Bisaccia will love working with kick-returner Cordarrelle Patterson, though.

Assistant special teams coordinator: Open

Tracy Smith is still listed and perhaps he could be retained to serve as a buffer between Bisaccia and punter Marquette King?


http://www.espn.com/blog/oakland-raiders/post/_/id/20905/jon-grudens-raiders-staff-beginning-to-take-shape
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