By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Wednesday, January 7th, 2009 at 7:13 pm in Oakland Raiders.
On a day in which it was learned Tom Cable had his first substantive discussions with owner Al Davis regarding being the Raiders head coach in 2009, some of the assistant coaching staff is on the move in advance of the expiration of their contracts on Jan. 13.
Greg Knapp will be the offensive coordinator of the Seahawks, Tom Rathman will be offensive coordinator of the San Francisco 49ers, and ESPN was reporting Rob Ryan would join Eric Mangini’s staff with the Cleveland Browns as defensive coordinator.
Correction: Rathman will be running backs coach of the 49ers.
Also departing will be administrative aide Matt Capurro, who has worked as the assistant to the head coach since 2003 and some day ought to write a book being that he served in that capacity under Bill Callahan, Norv Turner, Art Shell, Lane Kiffin and Cable.
Capurro elected to take a position at USC.
Cable’s situation since the end of the season has in some ways been similar to that of Callahan, who eventually became the Raiders head coach after Jon Gruden was traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers following the 2001 season.
When Gruden was dealt, Davis met with the coaching staff and made him “captain of the coaches” until he decided how he wanted to proceed.
“I wanted to see and we wanted to see Bill function in that role to see how the organization would operate,” Davis said when Callahan was hired March 13.
It was essentially a 22-day tryout, with Davis making the call without interviewing another candidate.
Cable got a head start on the in-season coaching when Lane Kiffin got his wish and was fired. By the end, he had fared better than Kiffin ever did, winning three of his last six games including the first back-to-back wins to end the regular season since 2002.
In the meantime, Cable has had his offseason tryout in terms of supervising self-scouting reports for the staff to prepare for free agency, and beat writer Steve Corkran reports he quietly talked with Davis about something beyond the daily goings-on Wednesday.
The only known outsider to talk with Davis about the position since the end of the season is Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride _ a “discussion” over the phone the Raiders say was at Gilbride’s request.
One name to keep in mind _ Jeff Jagodzinski. Jagodzinski was hopeful being interviewed in Seattle to be offensive coordinator after being fired at Boston College for interviewing for the head coaching job with the New York Jets.
That opportunity evaporated when Mora, as expected, hired Knapp, with whom he worked in San Francisco and Atlanta.
The offensive coordinator for the Green Bay Packers before being hired in 2007 at Boston College, Jagodzinski helped quarterback Matt Ryan have a superb senior season, and Ryan was one of the most poised, polished rookies to play quarterback in the NFL in years.
His work in that area could be of benefit to JaMarcus Russell.
Jagodzinski, 45, lost his job at Boston College for following through with an interview in New York after being told he would be fired for doing so. Athletic director Gene DiFilippo (the father of Raiders quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo) was angry Jagodzinski did not inform him in advance of the Jets interest.
It may sound a little too Kiffin-like to consider him as a head coaching candidate, but it’s not a stretch to envision Davis talking to him about being offensive coordinator should Jagodzinski not get the job with the Jets.
According to a Chronicle report, special teams coach Brian Schneider could also be on the move, with interviews in Jacksonville and Seattle.