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Monday, February 9, 2009
Michalczik bolts Huskies for Raiders

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller

This is a big blow for Washington: New Huskies offensive coordinator Jim Michalczik is leaving Washington for a job with the Oakland Raiders.

We're on record with our esteem for Michalczik, who is clearly one of the best offensive line coaches on the West Coast.

He created the Pac-10's most consistent rushing offense at Cal, and his line was equally impressive as pass-blockers. A lot of times a line is good at run blocking or pass blocking but not both.

He also took a number of under-the-radar line recruits and got them to the NFL, most recently All-American center Alex Mack, who could be a first-round draft pick this April. 

Michalczik also was an impressive hire for Sarkisian because Sarkisian will call the offensive plays. That typically is an impediment for hiring a top-notch coordinator -- consider that's a chief reason Huskies defensive coordinator Nick Holt cited for bolting USC for Washington (other than a big raise, of course).

It's hard to imagine Sark being able to lure such a "name" guy for the post now, but we shall see.

Wonder if he'll try to tap the USC staff again? Perhaps he could attract USC offensive line coach Pat Ruel to Montlake with the offensive coordinator title and a three-year contract worth $350,000 annually?

Not likely, but who knows?

Or what about Oregon State offensive line coach Mike Cavanaugh?

This is the second hire to accept a job with Sarkisian and then bolt without coaching a game. Utah receivers coach Aaron Roderick accepted a Sarkisian offer to take the same post with the Huskies but then changed his mind a few days later.

This leaves Washington with two openings on the offensive side of the ball, and offensive line and receivers are two areas where the Huskies underachieved last year.