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Saturday, January 18, 2014
Oakland Raiders announce staff retentions

By Paul Gutierrez

ALAMEDA, Calif. -- As reported by ESPN.com on Tuesday, the Raiders have officially parted with three main assistants from coach Dennis Allen’s staff – defensive backs coaches Clayton Lopez and Johnnie Lynn and assistant special-teams coach Keith Burns.

Plus, strength and conditioning coach Al Miller retired and assistant strength and conditioning coach John Grieco was promoted to take his place.

The Raiders announced Friday evening that 14 assistants had been retained: special-teams coach Bobby April, quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo, receivers coach Ted Gilmore, quality control-offense coach Justin Griffith, tight ends coach Mark Hutson, offensive coordinator Greg Olson, linebackers coach Bob Sanders, quality control-defense coach Eric Sanders, senior offensive assistant Al Saunders, running backs coach Kelly Skipper, assistant head coach/offensive line Tony Sparano, defensive coordinator Jason Tarver, defensive line coach Terrell Williams and Grieco.

Technically still on staff, though not announced as still being on staff, were offensive assistant Nick Holz and defensive assistant Travis Smith.

There had been numerous reports that while Allen hoped for two-year deals for the assistants he wanted to retain, purportedly to match the time remaining on his four-year contract, owner Mark Davis insisted on one-year contracts.

Besides Sparano getting a two-year extension, the status of the remaining staff’s contracts are not known at this time.

But with so much of Allen’s staff returning, it should help dramatically with continuity and give the Raiders one less crutch for the 2014 season.

“Very important,” general manager Reggie McKenzie said on Tuesday of the team’s efforts to bring back most of Allen’s staff. “I think continuity is a part of it, it’s a part that can help you continue to progress and get you on the track to winning.”