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Past searches have been disasters

If Al Davis seems a little gun shy with regard to changing coaches this time around, it’s with good reason.

It’s not like Davis has been adept at zeroing in on a promising candidate and reeling him in.

You’d think someone with as much practice at hiring and firing would, even by accident, bring home a winner.

Except that since 2004, Davis has brought in Sean Payton, Bobby Petrino, Ken Whisenhunt and Steve Sarkisian only to have each one of them walk away. Taking that into account, it’s difficult to accept Davis’ yearly claims about all the great coaches that want to be with the Raiders at face value.

There’s no guarantee any of those names would have worked either, given the environment. Particularly in the case of Petrino, who bailed out on the Atlanta Falcons after realizing he had no taste for the NFL game.

The men who ended up being hired as those candidates walked away _ Norv Turner, Art Shell and Lane Kiffin _ were a combined 16-52. None were ready to deal with life as a Raiders coach under Davis for different reasons. Turner didn’t have the charisma, Shell had been away too long and was intractable, and Kiffin was too immature to finesse a situation the way Jon Gruden did.

I’ve already made the argument that the problem rests with Davis’ role as general manager, a point that was echoed in Thursday’s papers by columnist Monte Poole.

There doesn’t appear to be any chance Davis will fire himself for that role, or that there are enough confidants remaining to convince him that he should.

Which means Davis will be, as President Bush called himself, “The Decider.” And while Davis may still have an eye for good candidates, his ability to close the deal is another story.

Payton was the choice to succeed Bill Callahan in 2004 until Jerry Jones gave him a huge raise to remain in Dallas as an assistant. After Turner was fired, exec Mike Lombardi pushed hard for Petrino. The Louisville coach came in for a stealth interview, received an offer but turned it down because of family concerns.

Whisenhunt interviewed in Alameda and even checked out local real estate with his wife with a broker provided by the club, but withdrew his name before getting an offer.

The end result was Shell.

Sarkisian, a former Raiders quarterbacks coach and USC co-offensive coordinator, was targeted to replace Shell. He interviewed well and went home to Southern California thinking he was going to be head coach of the Raiders, only to wake up the next morning and think better of it. That led to Kiffin, who was to join Sarkisian as offensive coordinator.

Kiffin ended up being Davis’ biggest nightmare.

Cable, at least, has his team playing hard in December and seems to handle pressure well. He understands the organization and wants to work with Davis.
As disappointing as some of the premium draft picks have been (Russell, Darren McFadden, Darrius Heyward-Bey), the Raiders locked up Nnamdi Asomugha and Shane Lechler last season, will likely do the same with Richard Seymour and Sebastian Janikowski.

There are some intriguing and promising young talents, particularly on defense (Tyvon Branch, Trevor Scott, Matt Shaughnessy). It’s a young team that may not respond to wholesale change in the coaching staff.

The owner has a laundry list of complaints, the biggest among them another losing season, too many blowout losses and the regression of Cable’s hand-picked offensive line.

But it might be easier to bring in a new direction to the offense with a coordinator and play-caller.

Or Davis can get back into the business of hiring another head coach, where his success has mirrored what has taken place on the field.

EXTRA POINTS

Not much in the way of real news today.

– Jim Harbaugh’s agent, Jack Bechta, joined the parade of denials regarding interviewing with the Raiders for the head coaching job.

– Kiffin had a rather unique honor bestowed upon him in Tennessee. Hold your nose for this one.

Profootballtalk.com reported (or passed along rumors) that Cable could be reunited with Kiffin at Southern Cal.

– The Washington Redskins hired former 49ers line coach Chris Foerster as their line coach, a position Cable, if available, would have been suited for, given coach Mike Shanahan’s background in zone blocking. Kiffin hired James Cregg, the former Raiders assistant who left the club to join him at Tennessee, to an unspecified position.

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Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • RaiderRockstar

    Dakota,

    If Higgins IQ is around 65, what is Russell’s ???

    yowsa…

  • new englandraider

    pockets full today huh rockstar? really hurt by the touched by an uncle thing. im sorry bro

  • El Tato

    JLH averages 46 yards/game in the last 9 games he started at WR in 2008 and 2009.

    Just compare that to the numbers Murphy and DHB had the first 8 games this season.

    JLH is average, but he is not that bad to be cut.

  • RaiderRockstar

    later Hairy

  • new englandraider

    yep especially ur wife’s slot

  • new englandraider

    call me a thief, as im always lurking in her bush

  • new englandraider

    of course we need the jaws of life to spread her legs, but hey im sick i need help

  • RaiderRockstar

    Houston Texans rookie Brian Cushing will not play in the Pro Bowl because of several injuries

    Kirk Morrison has replaced him

  • http://media-2.web.britannica.com/eb-media/63/60563-004-52A399D4.jpg Dakota

    El Tato Says:
    January 22nd, 2010 at 11:55 am
    93 Kelly, Tommy DT 6-6 300 29 6 Miss State-Maybe cut

    61 Warren, Gerard DT 6-4 330 31 9 Florida-Maybe cut

    ———————————————-

    I cant agree.

    LBs are the main problem when it comes to stop the run. We have many holes to cut both starting DTs.

    The Raiders are 6th in the NFL in tackles for loss by the Defensive Line, the problem is when the RB gets 5 yards and the LBs have to make the tackle they are blocked, out of position or just fail to make a tackle, so the gain can be very long.

    Get ROLANDO McCLAIN and keep the DL, instead of cutting both DTs and still have a need at ILB.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++

    Well, I just don’t know. It seems to me that far too many times our LBs are getting blocked because our DTs don’t always demand a double team in running situations and therefore someone is left clear to engage the LBs. I think Morrison is too weak and can’t shed block well enough for a MLB, but I also believe that we need a true NT to occupy the guard and center on running plays which should free up our MLB to make more plays near the LOS or in the backfield.

    Even Ray Lewis dropped off until the Ravens finally got another beast NT, Haloti Ngata.

    Like I said to Rockstar, I think Warren and Kelly make fine 3 tech DTs, we just need that NT next to them…and that will help our MLB…but we do need a stronger MLB anyhow. My preference is to get both a NT and a new MLB….but I would replace the NT first.

    Just the way I see it.

  • RaiderRockstar

    Why can’t any of our busts get religion?!? DMAC, can I get an AMEN!?!

    ***

    I think McFadden should spend some time with Napolean Kaufman too!

  • http://www.blogcdn.com/www.fanhouse.com/media/2008/04/desmond-howard-425-sm.jpg Bo Schembechler Jackson

    RaiderRockstar Says:
    January 22nd, 2010 at 12:05 pm
    Houston Texans rookie Brian Cushing will not play in the Pro Bowl because of several injuries

    Kirk Morrison has replaced him

    ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

    The hell you say!

  • http://none The Real MaddenRaider

    Sorry to be OT, guys, but I’m watching Mark McGuire on ESPN right now, and the press really seems to be turning the corner and redeeming him. Bonds should fess up now, as well. And, it will be interesting to see if the press shows the same consideration for Barry. Marion Jones, as well. Or has Marion already come clean about it? I know she’s done time, don’t know if she’s ever actually admitted doing it. McGuire really seems to be on the “he made a mistake, let’s move on” status with the press right now. Interesting to see if Barry and Marion would get the same redemption.

  • RaiderRockstar

    look it up BSJ!

  • Thec07

    Keep JLH

    Nick Miller not on the list…

  • http://none The Real MaddenRaider

    Just read most of the comments from this morning. This blog can use an injection of critical thought. :)

  • RaiderRockstar

    Elvis Dumervil, James Harrison & Kirk Morrison now …

  • http://www.blogcdn.com/www.fanhouse.com/media/2008/04/desmond-howard-425-sm.jpg Bo Schembechler Jackson

    RaiderRockstar Says:
    January 22nd, 2010 at 12:07 pm
    look it up BSJ!

    :::::::::::::::::::::::::

    Ahhh here it is:

    http://www.fatchance.com/dreamON

  • El Tato

    Dakota,

    I agree with you, I also think we need a NT. Kelly and Warren disrupt tha backfield at times and create pressure in passing situations at times but they cant occupie 2 blocker, I know. Also Morrison should be outside,Howard is weak in run defense and Scott is still learning.

    I m sure we need a NT, but getting rid of our 2 starting DTs only creates another big hole. If we could get McClain or Terrence Cody it would be great, those 2 were the most important piezes in the #1 run defense in College.

  • http://media-2.web.britannica.com/eb-media/63/60563-004-52A399D4.jpg Dakota

    Did I imagine it, or did JLH seem like he lost his cool? He seemed way to skittish last year…I don’t know if you can fix a head case like that.

    Ask Andrew Walter.

    That would be the only reason I would cut him…if he somehow regains his confidence then great keep him….but he seems cracked too me.

  • RaiderRockstar

    Morrison making the Pro Bowl just before a contract year bodes well for him.

    he’s led the team in tackles for 4 straight seasons. over 100 tackles in all 5 years with Oakland

    highly respected player around the league.

  • El Tato

    Morrison to the Pro Bowl, is that true? Link?

  • RaiderRockstar

    way to go Captain Kirk!

    sporting the silver & black in Miami :)

    that makes 4 pro bowlers, going on 6

  • http://media-2.web.britannica.com/eb-media/63/60563-004-52A399D4.jpg Dakota

    El Tato,

    I certainly wouldn’t want both Kelly and Warren gone, that is why I said maybe cut them…we have to keep at least one of them, and if they are both willing to re-negotiate, I would love to see them rotate at the 3 tech spot. But I like Desmond Bryant too….so one of them should get cut if they are not willing to take a pay cut and we get a NT.

  • http://media-2.web.britannica.com/eb-media/63/60563-004-52A399D4.jpg Dakota

    Is there any way Trevor Scott could play MLB?

    Is he too tall at 6’5″?

  • El Tato

    Dakota,

    we agree we need a REAL NT. I hope we get one this offseaon, that would make every LB and S look better.

  • http://CableBumaye 909RaiderLifer

    WTF! it’s 43 freaking degrees outside here in SO-CAL!

    One has to wear levi’s and a carhart coat, plus sho3s, to venture out to the local taco stand for lunch…lol

  • http://www.blogcdn.com/www.fanhouse.com/media/2008/04/desmond-howard-425-sm.jpg Bo Schembechler Jackson

    909RaiderLifer Says:
    January 22nd, 2010 at 12:26 pm
    WTF! it’s 43 freaking degrees outside here in SO-CAL!

    One has to wear levi’s and a carhart coat, plus sho3s, to venture out to the local taco stand for lunch…lol

    ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

    It’s hilarious how a little weather in SoCal is breaking national news on CNN, etc.

    When I lived there I remember they sprayed malathion from helicopters…how about some testosterone next time?

  • RaiderRockstar

    43 degrees? LOL

    you probably won’t get any sympathy from Dakota or I!

    I was out deer hunting on Christmas day and it was 10 below

  • http://media-2.web.britannica.com/eb-media/63/60563-004-52A399D4.jpg Dakota

    Bo Schembechler Jackson Says:
    January 22nd, 2010 at 12:29 pm
    909RaiderLifer Says:
    January 22nd, 2010 at 12:26 pm
    WTF! it’s 43 freaking degrees outside here in SO-CAL!

    One has to wear levi’s and a carhart coat, plus sho3s, to venture out to the local taco stand for lunch…lol

    ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

    It’s hilarious how a little weather in SoCal is breaking national news on CNN, etc.

    When I lived there I remember they sprayed malathion from helicopters…how about some testosterone next time
    +++++++++++++++++

    LMFAO

  • M Lonetree

    a true disaster is sending 250,000 soldiers/military personnel into the cauldron/quagmire of Central Asia and paying one trillion dollars to do so.

    while the Raiders coaching carousel my be irksome and untidy it is not disastrous.

  • http://blstb.msn.com/i/55/90A2853B6CFBCC2AFC987BB18B832.jpg vegas raider

    The Real MaddenRaider Says:
    January 22nd, 2010 at 12:06 pm
    Sorry to be OT, guys, but I’m watching Mark McGuire on ESPN right now, and the press really seems to be turning the corner and redeeming him. Bonds should fess up now, as well. And, it will be interesting to see if the press shows the same consideration for Barry. Marion Jones, as well. Or has Marion already come clean about it? I know she’s done time, don’t know if she’s ever actually admitted doing it. McGuire really seems to be on the “he made a mistake, let’s move on” status with the press right now. Interesting to see if Barry and Marion would get the same redemption.

    ***************************************

    Bonds went get the same treatment no matter what, and it pisses me off. They scapegoated that guy, and did all they could to slander him to pieces, when he was no different than 25% of the other players in the league, except he was better.

    I am probably one of the world’s biggest Barry fans. Have his bobble-head at my desk, and a framed picture of him hitting #70 in the office, and when my cousin wrote a book on him, I got to meet him in Spring Training one year a couple of times.

    Yup I am an Al Davis and Barry Bonds apologist. I am a debate/argument waiting to happen.

  • http://CableBumaye 909RaiderLifer

    BSJ…Rockstar…Dakota…

    Hey, I’m the first to admit to being a puss, whenever the temp dips below 70*…But 43* might as well be -10* out here…lol

    At least the LAFD just rescued a german shepard from te sewer that’s called the L.A river just now. Kudos!

  • JB

    # RaiderRockstar Says:
    January 22nd, 2010 at 11:12 am

    Javon Walker + 2nd Round draft pick lands Anquan Boldin
    ****************

    Or, a 3rd round pick without Yvonne Walker.

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