The Oakland Raiders have announced via their twitter account that their former All-Pro guard, Steve Wisniewski, will join the team as the assistant offensive line coach. Funny, they don't even have a regular offensive line coach yet, so I guess he joins with the opportunity of being promoted right away, similar to when Jim Zorn joined the Washington Redskins as their offensive coordinator only to become their head coach seemingly moments later.
Wisniewski's hiring may provide a clue that a certain player could become the next great Raiders guard via the 2011 NFL draft. I won't name any names, though it is quite possible he will still be available when the Raiders number 49 pick in the second round rolls around. Steve Wisniewski, this certain unnamed player's uncle, played 206 games over 13 seasons with the Raiders from 1989-2001. He made the Pro Bowl eight times and was a two-time first-team All-Pro.
"I'm back to my first love, the Oakland Raiders and working with the offensive line," Wisniewski said.
Wisniewski's new job will be helping the new head coach, Hue Jackson, and the new offensive coordinator, Al Saunders, in trying to develop an efficient passing game to go along with the NFL's second best rushing attack from the 2010 season.
Saunders says he is looking forward to working with a talented and young group of wide receivers and a quarterback whose "strengths and weaknesses" he knows well from their time together in Washington. Hopefully now that Jason Campbell has a few more years under his belt in the NFL as a starter, the strengths will outweigh the weaknesses substantially.
Under Saunders in 2007, Campbell threw 13 touchdowns and 12 interceptions in 13 games. He had a passer rating of 77.4 that year before succumbing to a dislocated knee during the last three weeks of the season.
The Redskins made the playoffs that year with backup quarterback Todd Collins taking over the duties of directing an offense with 700+ pages worth of plays. Saunders' number one goal this year will be to help the passing offense that ranked 23rd of 32 teams live up to its potential.
Odds are that Coach Jackson will not allow Saunders to intertwine all of his massive playbook into the Raiders system, but these are two coaches who will complement each other's style very well and are capable of putting players in the proper place to make plays on Sundays. If the Raiders can manage to contain certain role players in their offense, they have the capacity to be better than the 23rd ranked team through the air next year. It would also be nice if certain players -- *COUGH* Chaz Schilens *COUGH* -- would not be so fragile!
The coaching staff for the Raiders is beginning to take shape, even if the roster isn't exactly following suit. But I have to say, thus far, I like the post-Tom Cable era in Oakland. If the Raiders keep making the right choices in their future coaching staff, then the team will continue the ascent from the bottom of the barrel to the top of the mountain.
Bill Romanowski mentioned recently on his The Green Room series on Comcast Sports Net that Al Davis' press conference was his way of purging the past six years of stuff from his heart and soul. So Davis's outpouring of information that has been rolling around in his head for so long symbolizes a new beginning for one of the NFL's most storied franchises.
According to this piece on Hue Jackson, the Raiders' second year coach could be just the right guy to lead them back to glory.
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Excellent hire bringing in Wisniewski. Promoting Hue Jackson has been the best coaching move Al Davis has made since Gruden. Obviously, Al Davis has tremendous amount of respect for Hue, and is letting him bring in some great additions to the coaching staff, and is working with him and not against. In my opinion, releasing Cable has been a very positive step in the right direction, and we are developing a coaching staff that is going to be geared for playoff success, not ecstacy at finishing 8-8!! Hue is going to become a very special coach in this league. He definitely has the coaching mojo. The energy is all about him, and it is very apparent that players love playing for this guy and that the owner (Al Davis) has a respect for him that he has not shown other guys in a long time. That says a lot..... The Steelers are blessed to have Mike Tomlin, a masterful coach in his own right, and the Raiders are now blessed with a new head coach who has the charisma, intelligence and flat out game to become not only a Raider coaching legend, but a guy who is in the same league as Tomlin, if not more...I am truely fired up about this upcomming season, and if we can strengthen the offensive line (add a Mankins and Gaither) and resign Gallery ( YES, I still firmly believe that losing him to free agency would be a setback, as his experience and toughness is invaluable, regardless of some of his struggles with injury) , and draft Wisniewski, the Raider offense will be poised for a spectacular run in 2011. And if we can add a top flight wide receiver (DID I EVER MENTION THAT I HOPE IT IS VINCENT JACKSON????), then watch out, the Raiders will be a MAJOR player in this league and playing for a superbowl will be a legitimate conversation....
dude, i told you guys didn't i? We desperately need a Center... and Wiz Jr. is coming down the pipe. it's fate. the way they will do it is moving in NE's spot with the first pick on the 2nd day of the draft! Once Wisniewski doesn't get picked in the first round, Al will have all night to plan it out... and it will be the first name called out!!!
Very nice article Bret. very inspiring. i'm glad you think the same way ALL TRUE RAIDER FANS DO and not Cable-jock-riders. "the players are pissed" they say... UHH ACTUALLY, only a couple that spoke out are. and guess what? WE DONT NEED OF THEM. they were probably out of here anyway... like Gallery and Bush ... I love Bush, and wish he would stay... but i knew it was inevidable that he would want to go be a #1 back somewhere, and rightly so. Gallery is a different story... he's a great guy in person... does a lot for his community ... but still ... Al paid you THAT MUCH MONEY to be a busted LT turned Guard, and you cling to the man that switched you and "mentored" you? how do you have all those muscle cars Robert? Al Davis. Not Tom Cable. Pull your head out of your ass...
This is all pending whether or not he actually wants to follow TC to SEA ... If he is, I won't be worried. it will for Al to replace him WITH BETTER TALENT THAT DOESNT MISS HALF A SEASON EVERY YEAR WITH INJURIES.
Anyway, i didn't see Bill Rom talk about that Bret. that is a way of looking at that 2 hour rant from Old Al... a lot of it was bashing Cable, but still... he wanted to get some sh!t off his chest, and did it... gangley fingers and bruised head and all! haha!
I wonder if Wisniewski was purely named as "assistant" O-Line coach as a pre-caution that if next season does not go ahead then Davis may have to pay him less. Either way I am stoked to see Wisniewski back with the Raiders organization and hopefully we will see a couple more ex-Raiders back like Tim Brown.
Oh and I really hope that we will be seeing a new #76 Wisniewski in the Silver and Black very soon.