As usual the poor tactics of Raiders owner Al Davis has pushed away some solid possible coaches for his football team, and much like last season, he now is down to some less than appealing choices to coach the Raiders. Monday Denny Green, former Vikings and Cards coach told Davis “no,” when it came to an interest in coaching Oakland. The team went to a well they went to a year ago Monday, granting Chargers wide out coach James Lofton an interview. This is the second straight year that Lofton has had an interview. What could Davis see this year in Lofton that he didn’t see last year?
Don’t forget before Davis was somehow coaxed into hiring Art Shell for the 2006 season, he was turned down by now Cards head coach Ken Whisenhunt. Sean Peyton, the 2006 coach of the year, also at one point turned down a position in Oakland. Right now there are three other possible routes that the Raiders can go – USC QB coach Steve Sarkisian, current Raiders defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, and former Giants coach Jim Fassel.
I would expect at this point Davis to keep with his usual stance of taking an offensive coach, this coming after watching the Raiders score an NFL low 168 points last season. That was the lowest point total ever for Oakland, and something that was a huge factor in why Shell was fired after just one season. Many think that Sarkisian is the front runner for the job, especially with his coaching style being a focus on offense. Plus consider that the Raiders will likely bring in Louisiana State quarterback JaMarcus Russell with the number one pick in the draft, and you have a coach in place that has experience teaching young quarterbacks.
Whatever and whoever takes the job in Oakland, there is a lot of work to be done, and a long way to go before the Raiders can even become mediocre again. They need to have a solid draft, and make some good moves in free agency. With Davis still running the show and a new coach that will have to take orders, both those things seem unlikely to happen.