While the defensive staff of new defensive coordinator Jason Tarver are still to be hired, the team continues to fill out its offensive staff. The two "new" additions are not so new to the Raiders.
First, Al Saunders is being retained. This may seem odd for some, considering his job as offensive coordinator was given to Greg Knapp. Saunders is being brought back as a senior offensive assistant. His specific role is undefined but his veteran coaching presence will undoubtedly be a valuable contribution to this staff.
Saunders was the only Raider coach who was under contract after January 15th when the rest of last season's coaching staff contracts expired. He was allowed the opportunity to interview for the Chiefs' offensive coordinator position while still under contract with an open invitation to return in some capacity.
The Raiders have added a year to his contract which extends it out to 2013. He will offer some continuity as the most senior returning coach on staff which should help Knapp to better coach his new players.
Knapp also brought in a familiar face of his own, hiring John Defillipo as the team's new quarterbacks coach, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. Defillipo was on Knapp's staff during his previous stint in Oakland. This time, he will work with Carson Palmer instead of banging his head against the wall over JaMarcus Russell.
Defillipo has spent the past two years as the quarterbacks coach at San Jose State.
These two hirings come a day after the team reportedly hired Ted Gilmore as the team's wide receivers coach. The Raiders have officially announced the Saunders retention. Expect the other confirmations in the the next couple days.
In the meantime, stay up to date by checking in with the Raiders coaching staff live blog.
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Routt was due a guaranteed bonus if still on the roster Friday, that is why he was cut rather than traded...the other gm's knew this as well so there was no reason they would offer anything in trade when, if they want him, they can just go give him an offer now...
As far as the coaching staff, I think keeping Saunders will give continuity and with the weapons they have on offense I expect they will have plenty of downfield options, not just "west coast" type passing plays. The deep game is Saunder's specialty...if they can stay healthy, I expect (or at least hope for) the best offense the Raiders have had for a long time, maybe even EVER! RRRRRRAAAAAIIIIIIIDERRRRRRSSSSSSS!!!!
Hey guys!!! Routt is outt!!! The team has officially released Stanford Routt today. He wasn't traded, just got cut out of the team. This might be a sign of the times to come.
I know I've already said this, but guys, seriously, don't expect Saunders to have a major role on what's happening with this offense.There's gonna be a zone blocking scheme, there's gonna be a run first aproach and there's gonna be a lot of west coast offense. That's what Knapp's like, that's what Pollack was brought here to do. I know we all have mixed feelings at the best when we think of Knapp's hiring, but Allen's not gonna mess with the schemes. He liked something about Knapp and he brought him to do the job. I don't expect Saunders to be anything else than a consultant, with no real decision-making duties at all. Allen's not focusing on any side of the ball, he made it crystal-clear from day 1: He's gonna work hard all the week and be a mannager on game day.
Very good move bringing back Saunders. I have struggled from day (1) with the hiring of Greg Knapp, as I am not a fan of this guy at all....However, with the addition of Saunders, Knapp should now be able to run a much better and more creative offense than he did before with the Raiders, and the Saunders hiring will bring that important continuity to the Raider offense, and most importantly, Carson Palmer...
On the flip side, I don't agree with the DeFillipo hiring at all . JaMarcus Russell was a complete bust for the Raiders, and his downfall ultimately lies upon his own doing. However, the Raiders also have to assume some responsibility for Russell's demise, and in my opinion, the Raiders provided Russell with very poor coaching, and DeFillipo did nothing to improve him as a player. Carson Palmer is obviously a completely different quarterback than Russell, and there should be no mechanical, footwork, and learning issues with him whatsoever, so DeFillipo will probably not have to do much coaching, as Palmer is a polished, elite level QB, who will have a full training camp and pre-season. However, do I really want a quarterbacks coach, who was JaMarcus Russell's mentor and who contributed absolutely nothing in his development, coach Carson Palmer should any issues arise??? NOT REALLY...
I don't think this hire will allow him to focus on one side of the ball or the other. I think the retention of Saunders and the hiring of Knapp will give him experienced insight to how he wants to execute his offensive game plan. I believe him when he says he will manage the game and will not focus on one side or the other, but manage both sides.
I truly believe he will challenge Saunders and Knapp to think outside of their box, and they will challenge him and help him accomplish an effective offense.
Being a great manager means effectively working and delegating responsibilities to those around you, to execute your goals; allow for failures, but make the correction and teach the lessons when failure happens. Being a great manager is dependent on the people around you, and I think Allen is putting a great core of people around him.
Good move. Allowing Knapp and Saunders to focus on the offense means Allen can work closer with Tarver to sort this defense out. I cannot wait for Free Agency to get underway and start to see how this team is going to shape out.
Without question this is the most important hire for McK & AD for not only the O but to the D as well. Saunders headcoachng experience allows AD to focus on developing his green DC and manage team and have a mentor on staff AND help Knapp become a real OC!
OK... I had already commented this in the coaching staff blog but I'm doing it here again...Al Saunders is still with the team, he's comming back as a senior assistant, pretty much the same he was with the Baltimore Ravens before. This is really good news, specially for the guys who were concerned about him going back to KC.Defilippo is back as a QB coach. This is a really difficult hiring to evaluate. On one side he didn't have much last time he was here (Jamarcuss Russel, Marquees Tuiasosoppo, Andy Walter and a really old Culpepper weren't exactly HOF material). On the other side HE'S THE ONE WHO WAS THERE TO COACH JAMARCUSS RUSSEL TO THE MESS HE WAS. De filippo is going to be the coach with the nedd to prove himself the most.
@CreedLewis Yeah, I pretty much think the same
I just noticed that on their transactions page! Whoa big bold move! You would think trading him would have been the better move!
I'll wait for @LDizzle to write the note to make any further comment
to even think about putting ANY BLAME on the coaches for JaPorkus' failures is utter stupidity ... sorry guy. Bill Walsh couldn't have made that kid want to be anything.
@nilbymouth i'm definitely in a wait and see approach ... March 13th and beyond, we should have our answer as to what McGinger wants his team to look like. i either want to see a heavy decrease in pay for Seymour, Huff, Routt, and Wimbley... or simply put... GTFO!
@raider lifer Thanks for noticing.
@dondiraider It was a nice keep, no doubt. I'm not sure how relevant he's gonna be next year. No confirmation on what his role is gonna be, but I expect him to have a very similar role to that he had back in Baltimore. I think he's gonna be a consultant, a helping hand whenever he's asked to, even a scout for this offense, but I fully expect Knapp to have complete control over the schemes, the play design and the play calling.
i wouldn't blame anyone for that disaster named jamarcus russell but himself. nobody can coach up a person who doesn't want to be coached, bottom line!
@nilbymouth I agree... I'm not sure how much any team would give you for an over-payed CB, maybed there were no offer, but trading him seemed a better option.
@Black_Nightmare hope he will be more of an advisor to every position on offense as he has a wealth of knowledge....And hope he does have input in game planning...think AD is smart enough a. to keep AND extend his contract him but also to tap into his experience with the team and AFC west. We shall see.
@massillonraider Yeah, JaMarcus was an act of God himself, scourging and devastating everything at Oakland. He was a mess already, he just happened to have a great game vs. Notre Dame and that was what brought him here in the first place. I surely think he's gonna have a much better QB this year even if Carson Palmer breaks his leg and he has to coach only Terrel Pryor. Carson is way a more talented QB and way a better person than Jamarcus was and he's gonna work hard. I expect Defilippo to do a great job here, but he's gonna be without any doubt under a huge microscope (same as Knapp's) since his job here last time had such an awful result and he has no longer the "I have no talent to work with" excuse.
@dondiraider@Black_Nightmare From listening to Allen's presser, he said he was going to focus on managing the game, and allow his coordinator's to focus on their side of things. This tells me that his relationships with the coordinators are going to be directive. He will direct and put together his game plan, the coordinators will help execute that plan.
Not sure Knapp will have complete control over schemes and play design; but if he is calling a play that Allen doesn't like, it appears Allen will trump him (according to his pressser).
That was a big statement for me in the presser. I feel like some of our turmoil (last year included) was that our head coaches after Gruden, weren't really managers of the game, and focused too much on their specialty, and let the other aspects of the game do what they want; and it cost us too much.