AFC West: John Defilippo

ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Not only have the Oakland Raiders avoided losing quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo, who interviewed for the Cleveland Browns offensive coordinator position last week, the Raiders also filled a pair of vacancies on the staff by hiring Joe Woods as the defensive backs coach and Marcus Robertson as the assistant secondary coach.

The team confirmed the hiring of Woods, and Robertson's signing has been widely reported.

The only vacancy on coach Dennis Allen's staff remaining, then, should he choose to fill it, is assistant special teams coach. As such, and with some $60 million in salary cap space, a full complement of draft picks, including the fifth selection overall, and a completed-for-all-practical-purposes coaching staff, the Raiders are primed for the offseason.

DeFilippo interviewing in Cleveland can only help him in terms of experience down the road (the Browns hired Kyle Shanahan).

And in Woods and Robertson, who replace Johnnie Lynn and Clayton Lopez, the Raiders are hoping to improve upon their franchise worsts of touchdown passes allowed (33) and passer rating against (105.1).

Woods was with the Minnesota Vikings the past eight seasons -- the Vikings were 31st against the pass last season while the Raiders were 28th -- and Robertson, who played 12 years in the NFL and was an All-Pro free safety with the Houston Oilers in 1993 -- was an assistant the past two seasons with the Detroit Lions.
ALAMEDA, Calif. -- After running in front of the media for the first time in seven months, running back Darren McFadden met the press Tuesday after the Oakland Raiders' organized team activities practice.

Earlier in the day coach Dennis Allen said McFadden was at full speed. McFadden said he began running in April and he has felt 100 percent for about a month. He he thinks the injury, that knocked him out of the final nine games of the season, was a “freak” occurrence and he does not worry about a similar injury again.

Here are some more notes after talking to other Raiders on Tuesday:
  • Quarterback Carson Palmer was impressed by the day of fifth-round pick receiver Juron Criner. However, Palmer said he has seen many younger receivers have good spring days over the years. Palmer walked off the field with Criner and told him he must continue to have these types of days.
  • Receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey apologized to fans for “bringing bad attention” to the team. He was arrested for suspicion of drunk driving last month.
  • Second-year quarterback Terrelle Pryor expressed relief that there is quarterback coach in Oakland to help him develop. Former head coach Hue Jackson and offensive coordinator Al Saunders handled the job last year. Pryor now works with position coach John DeFilippo on a regular basis.
The Oakland Raiders continue to go back to their recent -- and unsuccessful -- past to fill out their offensive coaching staff all the while keeping an experienced hand. is reporting that 2011 Oakland offensive coordinator Al Saunders is staying with the team as a senior assistant. The report said Saunders had a year added to his contract that will run through 2013. Saunders won’t be offensive coordinator or quarterbacks coach, two roles he covered last year. His specific role is unknown.

Still, I think it is good that he is being retained in some role. This is a young staff. Saunders is an NFL veteran. His experience will help even if it is not in a major role.

Meanwhile, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports the team has hired John Defilippo as its quarterbacks coach. He was Oakland’s quarterback coach in 2007-08, which were JaMarcus Russell’s first two seasons. Defilippo has been the quarterbacks coach at San Jose State the past two years.

He reunites with offensive coordinator Greg Knapp. He was the offensive coordinator in Oakland in 2007-08. Yes, Oakland’s offense was anemic those years, but the talent was depleted. The two coaches are inheriting much better talent now.

New Oakland coach Dennis Allen (who worked with Knapp in Atlanta) is clearly comfortable with Knapp and Knapp is comfortable with Defilippo.

Meanwhile, the Raiders reportedly hired USC receivers coach Ted Gilmore for the same position. He worked for former Oakland coach Lane Kiffin at USC.

UPDATE: Ole Miss secondary coach Keith Burns has reportedly been added to Oakland’s staff. He has a long history with Allen. His role has been specified, but it could be as an assistant secondary coach. The word is former Kansas City assistant Tim Krumrie is a candidate to be Oakland’s defensive line coach.

UPDATE: The Raiders just formally announced Saunders will be retained as a senior offensive assistant.