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D-coordinator candidates a mystery

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.

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Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • Sith Lord Davis

    I wish Davis would go back to another so called out dated philosophy he used in the 60′s, 70′s, and part of the 80′s, the 3-4 defense. Oh wait, the Steelers still run that don’t they?

  • http://PROFOOTBALLTALK.COM DIRT LOT FOOTBALL

    THANK’S SITH, COULD NOT RECALL EXACTLY. WOULD U WANT HIM BACK AS O.C. ?

  • Sith Lord Davis

    His offenses always move the ball and score points but he loves to pass too much imo, but if Cable calls the plays that would not be a factor. He is better than most anyone else out there still looking for work and is better than most of the newbies other teams scooped up too soon, so yes. He has been coaching since 1981.

  • Sith Lord Davis

    Here you can check him out for yourself.

    http://www.coachmarctrestman.com/

  • Sith Lord Davis

    Trestman has a blog you know and writes for cnn/si.

  • Dakota

    Do we have a coach yet??

  • Sith Lord Davis

    Trestman won a National Championship with Bernie Kosar as a red shirt freshman, I wonder what he could do with Russell?

  • Sith Lord Davis

    I would like to see Trestman as HC with Cable under him but I get the feeling Cable has the job already. I just want Cable to coach the o-line and call the plays because he likes to run the football.

  • Dakota

    Q: If Cable is the guy Al wants as HC what is the upside of letting this drag out for so long?

    A: There isn’t an upside. Al doesn’t think Cable is the guy and he is only the last resort option. Al would give this job to Narco Bob over Cable if he could just get Narco Bob to return his calls.

  • http://www.brondby.com/kampkalender.asp?id=63 La Milicia Negra

    # Sith Lord Davis Says:
    January 26th, 2009 at 7:17 am

    Trestman was brought in by Davis to get Gannon over the hump into elite status in 2001 and became OC in 2002 so he was there with and without Gruden.
    ______________________________________________________

    LOL, please show me where you got that info.. Al DAvis had nothing to do with the hiring of Marc Trestman..

    He was hired BY GRUDEN, and when Gruden left Trestman was elevated BY CALLAHAN… Al Davis had nothing to do with it..(maybe that is why it worked)

  • http://ibabuzz 4evaRaider

    Norco Bob,call Big Al asap

  • M

    LMN,

    good afternoon

    So, if something works for the Raiders, then AD had nothing to do with it. If it doesn’t work, then AD had everything to do with it.
    Odd that in a world of grey something could be so black and white.

  • RaiderRockstar

    the funny thing is: Bruce Allen, Jon Gruden, Bill Callahan & Marc Trestman are all available this offseason. RIGHT NOW in fact. If Al Davis could ever get past his pride, he’d get these guys on the phone asap and try to reunite the last staff that had success in Oakland. Even Chuck Bresnahan is available! (just kidding)

  • exlaraiderseasonticketholder

    Sorry for the long post but I could not get just the link. Not my usual style.

    The Shared Stadium And Other Dreams Of The Pipe, Part II
    You have to hand it to Jed York and the 49ers (well, you don’t have to hand them anything, actually, but play along). They are keeping the Santa Clara stadium dream in the public eye in a most creative way — hinting around about a cost-sharing roommate they don’t have.

    In this case, of course, it’s the Raiders, and the 49ers have been cheerful in carefully but aggressively advancing the notion that the Raiders would become equal partners in their YorkTown paradise. In fact, through the Mercury News’ Mike Craig, who typed up a fascinating advancement to the story Sunday, the NFL is also playing along, saying the 49ers and Raiders should play together on this.

    Hey, fair is fair. The 49ers are playing to what they hope will some day be their home base, despite the clear evidence to the contrary.

    But we still have the four obstacles before this can possibly happen, plus a fifth that would assure that it can’t. In order:

    Location: The Raiders would have to be compensated for moving further from their fan base, or the stadium wouild have to be moved up the 880 Waterslide. And besides, the 49ers don’t even have the Santa Clara land yet, remember?.

    Money: It’s still $915 million, and the meter is running.

    Culture: The 49ers and Raiders regard each other with less cheer than the Giants and Jets ever did, and while Raider executive Amy Trask can paper over those difficulties all she wants, they still exist.

    Trust: The Raiders have been historically active in the arcane legal art of litigating against one’s partners, and even if the climate for that has changed, the 49ers would need to be wary.

    But here’s the fifth, and it would be the ultimate deal-killer.

    At some point, Al Davis will pass control of the Raiders to his son Mark, if Al doesn’t change his mind on what he has said publicly on several occasions. There is no indication that running a football team burns in the son’s soul as it has the father’s, which means that he could very easily and without a single pang put the team up for sale as soon as possible, with the highest bidder probably being someone who would look longingly toward Los Angeles instead of Santa Clara.

    This would leave the 49ers in some state of constructus interruptus, after having gone to the trouble of buying all the hard hats and orange vests.

    And yes, this is not only foreseeable, but very much in play. Unless Mark Davis is an idiot, he will keep all his options open, and until then, we don’t know what options he actually has. For this shared stadium thing to even be discussable, the Raiders would have to promise in writing to keep the team in the Bay Area for years, and like anyone in the corporate world these days, years can quickly turn to weeks.

    It alone should cause the 49ers far more pause than they are showing before they keep flogging this story as doable. They are giving us the illusion of a partner they don’t have and can’t guarantee for the stadium they can’t pay for in a location they don’t have in a city that might not be able to afford their end of a deal that doesn’t exist. And the more they do this, the sillier they will look, as seemingly improbable as that might be.

    In short, sedating Jed York for awhile might not be a bad way to go here. If he can get around all these landmines and get the thing done some day, there’ll be plenty of time for hysterical preening. For now, how about a Johnny Walker Blue with a six-aspirin back for our little dynamo?

    Posted By: Ray Ratto (Email) | Jan 26 at 06:30 AM

  • http://www.brondby.com/kampkalender.asp?id=63 La Milicia Negra

    M..

    No.. absolutely not, but Trestman was not Al Davis’ man, just look how muh time they needed to convince themselves they needed to Talk to Trestman..

    I 100 behind Trestman as OC, but his tenure in Oakland was not credited Al.. just to be honest.. it was merely a correction..

    I said it was working, yup, and I do think everytime Al tries to touch the Offensive side it will die, so I rather sure of Tresman wasn’t an AL-man..

    I could say the same thing about the defensive side.. but there 10 years of proof that our D have been dead (Als side of the ball)

  • RaiderRockstar

    Al would give this job to Narco Bob over Cable if he could just get Narco Bob to return his calls.

    ***

    False. Norco Bob thinks JaMarcus Russell is a bust. Al Davis thinks he’s the future of this football team and the face of this franchise. That alone would disqualify him. Davis favors players over coaches, remember?

  • http://www.brondby.com/kampkalender.asp?id=63 La Milicia Negra

    # RaiderRockstar Says:
    January 26th, 2009 at 7:59 am

    the funny thing is: Bruce Allen, Jon Gruden, Bill Callahan & Marc Trestman are all available this offseason. RIGHT NOW in fact. If Al Davis could ever get past his pride, he’d get these guys on the phone asap and try to reunite the last staff that had success in Oakland. Even Chuck Bresnahan is available! (just kidding)
    ___________________________________________________

    Bill Callahan is locked up in Cleveland..Mangini took him with him, right away in fact.

    Trestman is under contract in Canada..

  • http://www.brondby.com/kampkalender.asp?id=63 La Milicia Negra

    M..

    one cant just make up your own history as SLD does.. need just an ounce of honesty..

  • Dakota

    By David White:
    ______________________

    But don’t worry, team officials said: They have a plan, and this is all part of it.

    “We have very specific reasons for doing it this way,” said senior executive John Herrera, a key member of Davis’ ever-shrinking inner circle.

    “When it’s all done, there will be a very detailed explanation as to why we are moving the way we are. We’re connecting the dots and we’re doing things the right way.

    “This is a very well-thought-out, reasoned game plan.”

    It’s certainly unique, if nothing else.

    No other team in the NFL with a head-coaching vacancy after the season has used this approach: interview coordinators, hire or fire assistants, etc., before naming a head coach. Everyone else hired a coach first, then gave him a say in who would be doing what on the staff.

  • RaiderRockstar

    LMN: I didn’t know Bill joined Cleveland, but it doesn’t surprise me. I thought the Jets were still deciding what to do with him ala Schottenheimer Jr. Thanks for that info.

    Jason Jones (Sac Bee) reported that the Raiders are considering Marc for the OC position and last week it was reported that Marc was at the Senior Bowl trying to find work in the NFL again. He was planning on approaching 2 clubs, the Raiders being one of them.

  • M

    Yes, Dakota,

    but as I have mentioned previously, at least thirty of those teams who have gone out and hired their coaches and staffs in a traditional manner will end up not winning the Super Bowl next year.

    The failure rate, if the sole goal is to win the championship, is astounding when you see it like that.

  • Dakota

    So did any of you watch the Senior Bowl? Just my view:

    I was very impressed with the C from Oregon and I thought Michael Oher did a good job, but it sounds like his stock is falling to the mid to late first round area. That DT from BC, Raji, was all practice hype and didn’t do much in the game.

    Alex Mack mainly played guard and looked okay, but I would have liked to have seen him play more C. However, he did show versatility by playing guard.

    That Oklahoma WR looked good. I wasn’t very impressed with Robiskie. That FB from LSU looked pretty good, except for the missed block at the goal line. Some of the RBs looked good, but who cares about that?

    The LBs didn’t impress me at all. Rey had a good hit but he really looks stiff and unathletic out there. His buddies from USC are not even in the discussion. QBs all looked weak, but again, who cares? There was one CB that really stood out, the guy that dropped the INT, but hopefully we keep Nnamdi and don’t have to worry about CB in this draft.

  • RaiderfanNY

    How much does it matter who the coordinator is? Davis sets the rules. The team will run a straight-up 4-3 with man-to-man coverage on the corners, little blitzing and absolutely no surprises. Two seasons ago, KC quarterback Damon Huard said he fell asleep watching Raider film because the defense does the same thing every play.

  • Dakota

    M,

    So what you are saying is that Al can do it any way he wants just because 30 other teams will also fail to win the SB?

    I guess Al can go ahead and draft women too…he will just be one of many teams that fail to win the SB so it’s okay.

  • http://ibabuzz 4evaRaider

    Ahhhhhhhhhh the dreams of the pipe =)

  • http://none Dakota’s Fat Wife

    I missed the Senior Bowl because I was getting a train run on me. What did I miss?

  • M

    Dakota,

    my sole point about the hiring of coaches and staff is what’s the hurry? everybody seems to want to snatch up the next “brilliant coaching mind” or to retread a coach who has worn out his welcome elsewhere. doesn’t really seem to get most teams anywhere they want to be.

  • http://none Dakota’s Fat Wife

    I got a question for you, Nation.

    Who do you think knows LESS about football, Dakotex or La Feminine Napkin?

    That’s a tough one.

  • http://ibabuzz 4evaRaider

    Well Dakota if we look at it at a diffrent angle,it might start 2 make sence.I suggest Big Al is putting in his own system(per usual)and he getting the best people 4 that system ,a-la ZBS he wants the right fit.This is the big part: Big Al SAW when the season was lost,this guy named Tom Cable got the players to respond just like their “ancestors” did.Imo that was HUGE.Sooooo Cable is our HC,he loves the Raiders and the players see that,obviously.Big Al is giving Cable the tools 2 return da Raiders 2 GREATNESS,imo

  • Dakota

    M,

    I have no problem with the length of time it takes to hire a coach; I have a problem with the quality of the candidates we now have to resort to after the embarrassment Al Davis has brought upon the Raiders.

    Gilbride, Cable, Fassel, Moss? Are you kidding me?

  • RaiderTay

    Interestiong quote from Chris Mortensen on ESPN’s “The Herd” this morning. “I told Lane Kiffin when he was fired, atleast I get paid to lie. You are no longer getting paid for your lies” Very weird quote.

  • Great One

    “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.”
    ——————————————————–
    Therein lies the problem. Doesn’t matter who we get. It’ll be the same ole sh1t. Been a Raider fan for a long time and can’t remember when we’ve ever deviated from man defense with little blitzing.

  • Great One

    # Dakota Says:
    January 26th, 2009 at 8:46 am

    M,

    I have no problem with the length of time it takes to hire a coach; I have a problem with the quality of the candidates we now have to resort to after the embarrassment Al Davis has brought upon the Raiders.

    Gilbride, Cable, Fassel, Moss? Are you kidding me?
    ——————————————————-
    I hear you brother. The mourning continues for this team. The legacy is dead.

  • M

    Dakota,

    point taken

  • http://ibabuzz 4evaRaider

    or maybe it makes no sence at all

  • M

    RaiderTay,

    Mort said that to Kiffie? Wow.

  • M

    4eva,

    might as well see a thread of hope in the manner of action or inaction whichever it may be.

  • Dakota

    Who knows what Mort meant with that quote? What was the context? Was he being facetious? Hard to tell what someone meant unless you hear how that person said it.

  • Dakota

    4evaRaider Says:
    January 26th, 2009 at 8:45 am
    Well Dakota if we look at it at a diffrent angle,it might start 2 make sence.I suggest Big Al is putting in his own system(per usual)and he getting the best people 4 that system ,a-la ZBS he wants the right fit.This is the big part: Big Al SAW when the season was lost,this guy named Tom Cable got the players to respond just like their “ancestors” did.Imo that was HUGE.Sooooo Cable is our HC,he loves the Raiders and the players see that,obviously.Big Al is giving Cable the tools 2 return da Raiders 2 GREATNESS,imo
    ___________________________________
    4eva,

    Hey man, if that is what is happening and you can see the good in the situation I am happy for you. I hope you are right about Cable. I like to look at the entire picture and I saw 4 of the most embarrassing defeats in Oakland Raider history under Cable, but if you fall under the spell of the recency effect then I am happy for you. By judging a man by two wins at the end of the season (one of which he only won because a player he refused to play had to play due to injury) then you allow yourself to be content with the choice of that man as head coach, despite his 15-43 overall record as a HC.

    I hope I am wrong about Cable, but I doubt it. I like him but he needs to get back in his comfort zone and coach the o-line.

  • Hire Jim Fassel/Chris in NY

    I have no problem with the classic Raiders man-press coverage, but the no blitzing is a killer. Maybe you can get away with that if you have Howie Long and Lyle Alzado coming off the ends, but how often are you going to have two guys like that?

    When Rob was dialing up occasional blitzes in the first half of last season it seemed to work pretty often. For some reason we abandoned the blitz later in the season. Thomas Howard could be a tremendous weapon as a blitzing LB. Alston too. If we ran a defense like LeBeau or Rex Ryan or Jim Johnson (go figure, all three blitz-heavy coordinators were in Championship games) I think we have enough talent to be a top-tier defense.

    But as frustrating as the defense can be, I think the offense was the bigger problem last year. Part of that was sticking with Kwame at LT for most of the season. Another part was JaMarcus was basically a rookie QB. But to me the offense definitely needs more attention in the draft. That’s why I’d go:
    1) Maclin, WR, Missouri
    2) Loadholt, OT, Oklahoma
    And then continue to address o-line, get a backup QB and defense through the rest of the draft.

  • Hire Jim Fassel/Chris in NY

    I assume Mort was being sarcastic because Al accused both Mort and Kiffin of being liars. He wasn’t serious.

  • http://lmnisatool.org Come on Man!

    La Milicia Negra Says:
    January 26th, 2009 at 7:48 am
    # Sith Lord Davis Says:
    January 26th, 2009 at 7:17 am

    Trestman was brought in by Davis to get Gannon over the hump into elite status in 2001 and became OC in 2002 so he was there with and without Gruden.
    ______________________________________________________

    “LOL, please show me where you got that info.. Al DAvis had nothing to do with the hiring of Marc Trestman..

    He was hired BY GRUDEN, and when Gruden left Trestman was elevated BY CALLAHAN… Al Davis had nothing to do with it..(maybe that is why it worked)”

    LMN you are such a piece of work and so full sh1t!

  • RaiderTay

    Yea I assumed he was being facetious, but even in that context it was still weird.

  • Hire Jim Fassel/Chris in NY

    Don’t overlook how much better Mario Henderson played than Kwame Harris, too:

    Raiders Avg. Points Per game in 2008:
    With Henderson starting (5 games): 26
    With Kwame Harris starting (11 games): 10.5

    Cable’s inability to make this switch much sooner in the season is a major reason I don’t trust him as our head coach.

  • RaiderTay

    If anything it solidified to me that Kiff was the one feeding Chris Mortensen.

    On the flip side if he really said that to him why would you poke fun at a guy who just got fired.

  • http://lmnisatool.org Come on Man!

    LMN

    It is widely known that Al Davis hires all of the assistants, have you not been paying attention for years? Now suddenly Gruden hired Trestman just to suit your wrong argument? Get a grip, you are wrong. Again!

  • Dakota

    RaiderTay Says:
    January 26th, 2009 at 9:26 am
    If anything it solidified to me that Kiff was the one feeding Chris Mortensen.

    On the flip side if he really said that to him why would you poke fun at a guy who just got fired.
    ________________________________________________

    RaiderTay,

    I am sure Mort and Kiffin both think Al and the Raiders are a joke and what he said to Kiffin was probably taken by Kiffin as a joke. They both probably laughed their asses off when Mort said that to Kiffin.

    Just my speculation.

  • Dakota

    Come on Man! Says:
    January 26th, 2009 at 9:28 am
    LMN

    It is widely known that Al Davis hires all of the assistants, have you not been paying attention for years? Now suddenly Gruden hired Trestman just to suit your wrong argument? Get a grip, you are wrong. Again!
    ________________________________________________

    Wrong, Al doesn’t hire all of the assistants. Any Raiders fan with a brain knows Kiffin hired Knapp and Cable, so it is logical to assume that Gruden may have had a say in hiring Trestman.

  • http://lmnisatool.org Come on Man!

    Dakota

    Many a truth is said in jest. Mortensen was being honest. Both men have been caught in several lies. Ever since Kiffin left, Mortensen’s “inside info” has all been wrong. When Kiffin was here he was feeding Mortensen real inside info, probably on the daily.

  • http://www.brondby.com/kampkalender.asp?id=63 La Milicia Negra

    # Come on Man! Says:
    January 26th, 2009 at 9:28 am

    LMN

    It is widely known that Al Davis hires all of the assistants, have you not been paying attention for years? Now suddenly Gruden hired Trestman just to suit your wrong argument? Get a grip, you are wrong. Again!
    ______________________________________________________

    LOL, no, its just fact that Gruden and Callahan was the reason for his career in Oakland.