AFC West: Bob Wylie

AFC West coaching update

February, 1, 2012
The Kansas City Chiefs announced that offensive coordinator/offensive line coach Bill Muir will retire.

Muir, 69, wasn’t going to be brought back as the coordinator, but the Chiefs had interest in him to stay as the line coach. Muir denied a report last week that said he was going to retire. Yet, he has, indeed, decided to pursue other life interests. He spent 34 years in the NFL.

“I am excited for Bill as he moves into retirement,” Kansas City coach Romeo Crennel said in a statement released by the team. “I have known him for a long time and he is one of the finest coaches I’ve ever been around and an even better person. Bill is a very good friend and I have a great deal of respect for the way he worked. It was a privilege to work alongside him.”

Added Muir in the statement: "It has been an honor to be a part of this great league for so long. Over the years I've made a lot of great friends and worked with many talented players and coaches. This was a personal decision for me, the timing was right. The Chiefs are in great hands with Romeo and Scott (general manager Pioli) and I wish them nothing but the best.”

The Kansas City Star reported that Chiefs quarterbacks coach Jim Zorn has interviewed for the offensive coordinator opening. Crennel has been considering candidates for several weeks. The Chiefs reportedly recently denied the Bears permission to talk to Zorn about their quarterbacks coach job, which signaled that the Chiefs could be interested in promoting Zorn. He worked well with Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel last season. reports Oakland is hiring Houston assistant offensive line coach Frank Pollack as offensive line coach. He worked with new Oakland offensive coordinator Greg Knapp the past two years. Bob Wylie coached the Oakland offensive line last season and he did a nice job. It will be interesting to see where this decision leaves assistant offensive line coach Steve Wisniewski. He is a former Raiders great and is the uncle of Oakland guard Stefen Wisniewski, who starred as a rookie last season.

Meanwhile, former Oakland coach Rod Woodson is being considered as the defensive backs coach in Cincinnati. Woodson was a first-year coach with the Raiders last year. There was a report that Oakland coach Hue Jackson was going to fire Woodson before Jackson was fired himself.
Kansas City Chiefs safety Eric Berry told the Kansas City Star that playing every defensive snap of his rookie season took a toll on him. He said he sat at home and watched TV for a month. Still, Berry told the newspaper he will be ready to play every snap again this season.

''I don’t have a problem with it,'' he said. ''I like to play the game. That’s something I’ve tried to pride myself on is playing every snap and playing well and playing hard. I did that [in college] at Tennessee. One game we played Kentucky and it went to four overtimes and we had 122 snaps in one game. I played all of them. That’s how I was brought up, to play every snap like it was my last. That’s all I know."

He better be, because I’m sure the Chiefs are going to rely on Berry again this season. I’d imagine that he will have an easier time playing extensively in his second NFL season than he did as a rookie.

Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow said he misses time with his coaches during the lockout. Tebow will need as much time with the coaching staff as possible if he's going to compete with Kyle Orton for the starting job.

USA Today looks at some key issues facing the Oakland Raiders going into the 2011 season.

The Oakland Tribune takes a look at new Oakland offensive line coach Bob Wylie.

AFC West coaching staffs

March, 16, 2011
Thanks to ESPN Stats and Information’s Russell S. Baxter, here is a look at the complete coaching staffs of each AFC West team:

Denver: John Fox

Dennis Allen, defensive coordinator

Mike McCoy, offensive coordinator

Jeff Rodgers, special teams coordinator

Clancy Barone, tight ends

Keith Burns, assistant special teams

Brian Callahan, quality control/offense

Adam Gase, quarterbacks

Sam Garnes, assistant secondary

Justin Lovett, strength and conditioning assistant

Dave Magazu, offensive line

Ron Milus, secondary

Wayne Nunnely, defensive line

Jay Rodgers, quality control/defense

Greg Saporta, strength and conditioning assistant

Richard Smith, linebackers

Eric Studesville, running backs

Tyke Tolbert, wide receivers

Rich Tuten, strength and conditioning

Kansas City: Todd Haley

Romeo Crennel, defensive coordinator

Bill Muir, offensive coordinator/offensive line

Maurice Carthon, assistant head coach

Richie Anderson, wide receivers

Mike Clark, strength and conditioning

Gary Gibbs, linebackers

Steve Hoffman, special teams

Bernie Parmalee, tight ends

Pat Perles, assistant offensiveBe Line

Anthony Pleasant, defensive Line

Brent Salazar, assistant strength and conditioning

Nick Sirianni, offensive quality control

Otis Smith, defensive quality control

Emmitt Thomas, defensive backs

Adam Zimmer, defensive assistant/assistant linebackers

Jim Zorn, quarterbacks

Oakland: Hue Jackson

Al Saunders, offensive coordinator

Chuck Bresnahan, defensive coordinator

John Fassel, special teams coordinator

Greg Biekert, linebackers

Chuck Bresnahan, defensive coach

Willie Brown, squad development

Adam Henry, tight ends

Sanjay Lal, wide receivers

Brad Roll, strength and conditioning

Kevin Ross, assistant coach, safeties

Kelly Skipper, running backs

Mike Waufle, defensive line

Steve Wisniewski, assistant offensive line

Rod Woodson, assistant coach, cornerbacks

Bob Wylie, offensive line

San Diego: Norv Turner

Clarence Shelmon, offensive coordinator

Greg Manusky, defensive coordinator

Rich Bisaccia, special teams

Cris Dishman, assistant secondary

Steve Gera, coaches assistant

Hal Hunter, offensive line

Jeff Hurd, strength and conditioning

Don Johnson, defensive line

Charlie Joiner, wide receivers

Jason Michael, tight ends

John Pagano, linebackers

John Ramsdell, quarterbacks

Vernon Stephens, assistant strength and conditioning

Mike Sullivan, offensive line

Steve Wilks, assistant head coach-secondary

Greg Williams, assistant linebackers

Ollie Wilson, running backs

O-line scheming in the AFC West

February, 7, 2011
Offensive line schemes have become important in the AFC West recently.

It appears the Oakland Raiders will likely move from a zone-blocking scheme to a power-blocking scheme. Oakland just hired Bob Wylie to run the offense. Wylie specializes in a power-blocking scheme. Former Oakland coach Tom Cable used a zone-blocking scheme.

Wylie coached the offensive line in Denver in 2009. Former coach Josh McDaniels moved away from the zone-blocking scheme that Mike Shanahan used and that McDaniels adopted in 2008. Wylie was not retained by new Denver coach John Fox. There has been speculation that Fox could move back to a zone-blocking scheme but Fox hasn’t publicly made any announcements.

A reader, Drew in Denver, who said he is a Raider fan, asked if we could explain the differences in the two schemes so he can know what to expect if Oakland makes the scheme switch. I enlisted Matt Williamson of Scouts Inc. to discuss the differences. Here are his thoughts:

“The zone-blocking scheme depends on athletic, smaller linemen who can move together. When used correctly, it opens up the running game and works well with a downhill runner. The thing about using the zone-blocking scheme is you don’t have to spend a first-round pick on a lineman. You can look for smaller, athletic guys and find them in the later rounds. I don’t have a preference between the zone or power scheme. Both can be effective.

“The power-blocking scheme is traditional and a lot of teams use it. You get big, 300-pound plus fat, strong powerful guys and tell them to go knock down their guy. It’s straight forward, go-get ‘em scheme that a lot of teams use.”

Williamson said while both schemes can be effective, it is difficult to make the transition because the two schemes are so drastically different as far as personnel goes. It takes awhile to successfully switch because it’s difficult to find a new group of linemen to use the new scheme.

Williamson said doesn’t think Oakland should switch because it was effective using the zone-blocking scheme. Oakland had the No. 2 ranked run offense in the NFL last season.

“I don’t think they have great offensive linemen, but they got a lot lot out of the in the run game,” Williamson said. “Darren McFadden could be good in the power-blocking scheme, too, but why change? It’s going to take a long time to get new personnel to fit the scheme if that’s what they are going to do. I know coach Hue Jackson came from Baltimore and he is used to that AFC North power scheme, but I just don’t why Oakland would mess with its run-game success.”

Williamson said Denver has personnel to fit both schemes because it made the move last year. He doesn’t think second-year center J.D. Walton and second-year guard Zane Beadles are good fits for the zone-blocking scheme while the other linemen can work in both. Williamson said the Broncos might want to stick with the power-blocking scheme for now because they need to use all draft and free-agency resources on a defense that was ranked last in the NFL last year.

You pick it: AFC West storylines

February, 2, 2011
The candidates are:

Denver goes to 4-3 defense: Denver hired New Orleans defensive coordinator Dennis Allen, which is another indication that Denver will switch from a 3-4 to a 4-3 defense. Like new Denver head coach John Fox, Allen has been coaching a 4-3 defense.

Oakland abandons zone-blocking scheme: Oakland hired former Denver offensive line coach Bob Wylie for the same job. Oakland is expected to move from the zone-blocking scheme employed by former coach Tom Cable and go to a power-blocking scheme that Wylie used in Denver last season.

Bailey replaces Asomugha in Hawaii: Denver cornerback Champ Bailey replaced Oakland cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha at the Pro Bowl because of a minor injury. It was Bailey’s 10th Pro Bowl in 12 seasons, which is a record for cornerbacks.

Choose your story of the week and hit my mailbag with your thoughts. I will post some of your responses later in the week.

Oakland may change O-line scheme

January, 31, 2011
It appears for the second time in a year; Bob Wylie will be in charge of moving an AFC West offensive line away from the zone-blocking scheme to the power-blocking scheme.

Oakland just announced that Wylie will coach the offensive line. Former Raiders great Steve Wisniewski was added as assistant offensive line coach last week.

“Bob is a spectacular teacher, motivator and drill sergeant,” Oakland head coach Hue Jackson said in a statement released by the team. “His vast knowledge and experience, including last year with a team in our division, will really help us as we move forward in assembling a good offensive line.”

Wylie coached the offensive line in Denver in 2009. Former coach Josh McDaniels moved away from the zone-blocking scheme that Mike Shanahan used and that McDaniels adopted in 2008. Wylie was not retained by new Denver coach John Fox.

It seems like Oakland will likely make the move to the more traditional power-blocking scheme that Wylie specializes in. Former Oakland coach Tom Cable used a zone-blocking scheme. Cable’s offensive line coaches Jim Michalczik and Chris Morgan will not return, either.

This could mean the Raiders will be looking for some new personnel on the line. Guards Cooper Carlisle and Robert Gallery are better suited for a zone-blocking scheme. Bruce Campbell, who just completed his rookie season will likely get a chance to compete to be a starter. The massive Campbell should translate well to the power-blocking scheme as does left tackle Jared Veldheeer, who just finished his rookie season. Veldheer visited Denver before the draft last year, so Wylie is familiar with him.