Thursday, January 20, 2011
Raiders add experience with new OC
By Bill Williamson
As expected, the Oakland Raiders have added Baltimore assistant Al Saunders to their coaching staff.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Saunders will be Hue Jackson’s offensive coordinator. Jackson, who had a major impact on Oakland’s offense in 2010, said this week he will call the plays in Oakland, but expect Saunders, who will be 64 next month, to have a big role on the staff. Oakland still needs to hire a defensive coordinator. Saunders was San Diego's head coach from 1986-88.
Saunders, who has also been an offensive coordinator in Kansas City and St. Louis, worked with Oakland quarterback Jason Campbell in 2006-07 in Washington as assistant head coach. That experience should help Campbell progress this offseason.
Saunders has interviewed for the head-coaching job in Oakland in the past. So, yes, if Al Davis ever gets the hankering to fire Hue Jackson --- who is Oakland’s sixth head coach since 2002 -- Saunders has potential. Jackson, of course, was Oakland’s offensive coordinator when he replaced Tom Cable who was the Raiders’ offensive line coach when he replaced Lane Kiffin.
UPDATE: It is being talked about that Oakland could pursue a defensive coordinator to run the 3-4 defense. I think that would be a good idea. Oakland has several players who are naturals for the 3-4. It could be a nice fit for this team.