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Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Could be start of East Bay Packers

By Bill Williamson

Don’t expect the Oakland Raiders to hire a new coach any time soon.

As it sits now, I expect the top candidates to be on the Green Bay Packers staff. I think new Oakland general manager Reggie McKenzie – who came to Oakland from Green Bay – will consider Packers assistants Winston Moss, Joe Philbin and Darren Perry. However, none of these coaches can be hired until the Packers’ season is over — which could be as late as Feb. 6, the day after the Super Bowl. The Packers host the Giants in a divisional playoff game Sunday.

Expect other candidates to emerge, but I think the search starts with that trio. Former Green Bay (and Raiders) executive Ron Wolf — who, along with former Packers and Raiders personnel exec Ken Herock, has been advising new Raiders owner Mark Davis since his father's death — is comfortable with those coaches, and with the whole idea McKenzie being able to hire his own coach should be based on his feelings about the man he brings in. Wolf and Herock were very high on McKenzie, a former Raiders linebacker.

Expect the Green Bay connection to continue. Yes, we may be seeing the birth of the East Bay Packers. What’s wrong with that? The Packers are a model organization. I couldn’t think of a better team to emulate.

Because McKenzie has both Raiders and Packers ties, he could be bring an interesting blend of knowledge and direction to the Raiders moving forward.

And that’s why I expect him to stick with his roots and end up hiring one of the Green Bay assistants. By the way, Moss would be another example of having both Oakland and Green Bay roots. He, too, is a former Raiders linebacker.

It may take a while, but expect McKenzie to go to Titletown for the Raiders’ next chapter.