By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Saturday, January 24th, 2009 at 4:57 pm in Oakland Raiders.
It’s Day 27 on the seemingly inevitable march to Tom Cable as Raiders head coach, and while there have been hints, clues and confirmed interviews for that job and others, it’s been a veritable information void with regard to the replacement for Rob Ryan as defensive coordinator.
A few names have bubbled to the surface, only to be quickly shot down.
Linebackers coach Don Martindale met with Al Davis and talked a lot of defensive football, but he ended up believing he was a head coaching candidate. When Martindale found out otherwise, he ended up a linebackers coach in Denver.
Ed Donatell, a veteran NFL assistant with experience as a coordinator, was floated as a possibility. He had a logical connection in that he has worked Cable.
The Raiders’ company line? Donatell’s name never came up _ a distinct possibility because Donatell also ended up in Denver, coaching defensive backs.
Around the same time Martindale interviewed, Davis spoke with defensive backs coach Darren Perry. Perry, I’m told, is not a candidate and is looking for work elsewhere.
The most recent name was Tennessee linebackers coach Dave McGinnis. McGinnis interviewed with Oakland in 2004 for defensive coordinator. Rather than wait through the process while there was a phone interview with Eric Mangini, a sought-after interview with Rex Ryan which the Ravens declined and then the eventual interview with Rob Ryan, McGinnis took the Titans job.
Having lost defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz to the Detroit Lions, the Titans are expected to hire Chuck Cecil to take his place, rather than McGinnis.
Former Raider exec Mike Lombardi reported the Raiders had talked with McGinnis. A team spokesman said McGinnis’ name has not come up.
Neither has that of Ron Meeks, the deposed Indianapolis defensive coordinator who interviewed with the Raiders in 1998 for the job that went to Willie Shaw.
Meeks would seem an unlikely fit, anyway, given the Colts’ Cover 2 defensive philosophy and a penchant for using smaller, faster players rather than imposing physical specimens.
The Raiders interviewed Green Bay assistant head coach and linebackers coach Winston Moss for the head coaching job, but Packers coach Mike McCarthy told reporters Moss would be back in Green Bay if he isn’t hired in Oakland _ meaning he won’t be a defensive coordinator here.
Carolina defensive line coach Mike Trgovac declined an offer to return as defensive coordinator but was on the market only a few days before agreeing to join Dom Capers’ defensive staff in Green Bay.
One drawback with the Raiders job is a defensive coordinator comes in knowing there will be a certain way of doing things, with a lot of man-to-man coverage in the secondary and little in the way of conventional blitzing or zone blitzing.
Perhaps the Raiders will talk to Bob Sanders, who was dumped in in favor of Capers in Green Bay but whose team played nearly as much man coverage as the Raiders with Charles Woodson and Al Harris at the corners. Newly hired secondary coach Lionel Washington worked at Green Bay under Sanders.
Washington and Dwaine Board, expected to be named defensive line coach within the next few days, have been the two new additions to what will be a revamped defensive staff.
Sanders is speculation on my part. Your guess is as good as mine, so guess away.