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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

  • HairyBush

    BREAKING NEWS-this just in, Darren Mcfadden will be returning kicks and playing as a slot receiver for the Raiders.

    My bad, that was Reggie bush, oops

    I can dream right?!??!

  • El Tato

    Javon Walker has no trade value

    Walker and a 2nd wont bring here Boldin or Doucet. Doucet is like 24 and Javon 30+, I would keep Doucet

  • new englandraider

    surely there is someone on the waiver wire capable of playing better than luke lawton. was glad when he was suspended. makes u wonder about those ped’s

  • new englandraider

    el tato
    que paso?

  • RaiderRockstar

    Anquan Boldin signed a 4 year, $22.67 million contract extension through 2010. He is due $2.75 million for 2009 and $3 million in 2010.

    ***

    He’s only making $3 million this year?

    I doubt they trade him unless Warner retires. then they won’t be a playoff contender any longer and could probably use the extra picks or players …

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

    Trade DMAC for Boldin!

  • HairyBush

    Dakota, I hope the Raiders make smarter decsions when it comes to personnel this year. As I stated earlier, I can dream right!?!?!

  • RaiderRockstar

    Boldin is only making 400k more than Walker this year…

    LOL!

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

    Keep on dreaming….is it any wonder why Gruden wanted control of the 53 man roster?

    Jezuz

  • new englandraider

    damn hopefully dmac and jruss had their sophomore slumps last year. granted was jr’s 3rd yr but 2nd as a starter. looks like dhb’s reception count is about to go down next season.. oh boy!

  • HairyBush

    easy with the DMAC For Boldin talk

  • El Tato

    Trade DMAC for Beannie Wells

  • El Tato

    looks like dhb’s reception count is about to go down next season.. oh boy!

    —————————————–

    Can he have negative receptions, like -3 catches or what?

  • RaiderRockstar

    trade Russell for Leinart!

  • HairyBush

    DHB’s reception count to go down? lol yeah I’m figuring like 7 receptions and a 2 point convertion LMAO

  • RaiderRockstar

    Heyward-Bey in 2010:

    34 catches, 521 yards & 4 TD’s

  • new englandraider

    speaking of negatives. how did jlh manage a punt return avg above 5 yrds? dude ran backwards more often than not. im very confused

  • new englandraider

    sounds good rockstar. hopefully he does that as our 3rd receiver

  • El Tato

    Heyward-Bey in 2010:

    34 catches, 521 yards & 4 TD’s

    —————————————-

    I would sign that numbers right now.

    If they are healthy, Schilens and Murphy should have around 800 yards next year.

  • HairyBush

    If Arizona took Russell of our hands I would personally hand deliver the deed to my buisness,my house, and cars, as a thank-you to Mr. Bidwell!

    Damn, just woke up and realised no one will ever trade for Russell or Javon-ever-period

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

    HairyBush Says:
    January 22nd, 2010 at 11:35 am
    easy with the DMAC For Boldin talk

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

    You are right. We would have to give up a few draft picks along with that worthless pigeon-toed disgrace.

  • RaiderRockstar

    hopefully he does that as our 3rd receiver

    ***

    with Russell at QB for 16 starts cut those #’s in half

  • HairyBush

    I would like to see DHB succeed, he’s not a bad kid. He just needs some stickum.

  • RaiderRockstar

    HB,

    according to Al Davis:

    you can teach hands, but you can’t teach speed.

  • HairyBush

    Bo, do you see no hope for DMAC, even if used differently?

  • RaiderRockstar

    do you see no hope for DMAC, even if used differently?

    ***

    HB …

    BSJ is all about HOPE & CHANGE

    :)

  • HairyBush

    RR- just a smidge of sarcasm

  • El Tato

    Our coaches should play the best WRs, right now, Murphy and Schilens.

    Higgins can be a good slot WR, he should be running shrt crossing routes all the game.

    DHB should have a Meachem or Devery Henderson role in NO, occasional deep threat (if he learns how to catch a football, if not he will have a Troy Williamson role with MIN)

  • HairyBush

    Do you figure big Al is waiting tor the week before the probowl to make the big announcement that there is no announcement? That dude loves the spotlight, just like Jerry lones sporing his gay leather fonzie coat lol

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

    This is my cut/keep list, not taking into consideration contract status, free agency etc…

    21 Asomugha, Nnamdi CB 6-2 210 28 7 California-Keep
    33 Branch, Tyvon SS 6-0 205 23 2 Connecticut-Keep
    90 Bryant, Desmond DT 6-5 290 24 0 Harvard-Keep
    29 Bush, Michael RB 6-1 245 25 2 Louisville-Keep
    59 Condo, Jon LS 6-3 250 28 3 Maryland-Keep
    50 Ekejiuba, Isaiah LB 6-4 240 28 5 Virginia-Keep
    99 Ellis, Greg DE 6-6 265 34 12 North Carolina-Keep
    5 Gradkowski, Bruce QB 6-1 220 26 4 Toledo-Keep
    75 Henderson, Mario T 6-7 300 25 3 Fl State-Keep
    12 Heyward-Bey, Darrius WR 6-2 210 22 0 Maryld-Keep
    53 Howard, Thomas OLB 6-3 240 26 4 T-El Paso-keep
    24 Huff, Michael FS 6-1 205 26 4 Texas-Keep
    11 Janikowski, Sebastian K 6-2 250 31 10 Fl St-Keep
    37 Johnson, Chris CB 6-1 200 30 6 Louisville-Keep
    9 Lechler, Shane P 6-2 225 33 10 Texas A&M-Keep
    7 Losman, J.P. QB 6-2 210 28 6 Tulane-Keep
    20 McFadden, Darren RB 6-2 210 22 2 Arkansas-Keep
    80 Miller, Zach TE 6-5 255 24 3 Arizona State-Keep
    34 Mitchell, Mike SS 6-1 220 22 0 Ohio Un-Keep
    18 Murphy, Louis WR 6-2 200 22 0 Florida-Keep
    83 Myers, Brandon TE 6-4 250 24 0 Iowa-Keep
    98 Richardson, Jay DE 6-6 280 25 3 Ohio State-Keep
    81 Schilens, Chaz WR 6-4 225 24 2 San Di State-Keep
    91 Scott, Trevor DE 6-5 255 25 2 Buffalo-Keep
    92 Seymour, Richard DE 6-6 310 30 9 Georgia-Keep
    77 Shaughnessy, Matt DE 6-5 270 23 0 Wisconsin-Keep
    86 Stewart, Tony TE 6-5 260 30 9 Penn State-Keep
    70 Walker, Langston T 6-8 365 30 8 California-Keep

    69 Barnes, Khalif T 6-5 325 27 5 Washington-Cut
    30 Boyd, Jerome S 6-2 225 23 0 Oregon-Cut
    66 Carlisle, Cooper G 6-5 295 32 10 Florida-Cut
    31 Eugene, Hiram FS 6-2 200 29 4 Louisiana Tech-Cut
    3 Frye, Charlie QB 6-4 220 28 5 Akron-Cut
    74 Green, Cornell T 6-6 315 33 10 Ctl Florida-Cut
    97 Gunheim, Greyson DE 6-5 265 23 2 Washington-Cut
    15 Higgins, Johnnie L WR 5-11 185 26 3 T-El Paso-Cut
    23 Holland, Jonathan DB 6-1 195 24 2 L Tech-Cut
    94 Joseph, William DT 6-5 310 30 7 Miami (Fla.)-Cut
    51 Morris, Chris C 6-4 305 26 4 Michigan State-Cut
    56 Nixon, David LB 6-3 225 24 0 Brigham Young-Cut
    72 Pears, Erik T 6-8 305 27 4 Colorado State-Cut
    45 Reece, Marcel RB 6-3 240 24 1 Washington-Cut
    26 Routt, Stanford CB 6-1 195 26 5 Houston-Cut
    22 Russell, Gary RB 5-11 215 23 3 Minnesota-Cut
    64 Satele, Samson C 6-3 300 25 3 Hawaii-Cut
    84 Walker, Javon WR 6-3 215 31 8 Florida State-Cut
    19 Watkins, Todd WR 6-2 190 26 2 BYU-Cut
    54 Williams, Sam OLB 6-5 260 29 7 Fresno State-Cut

    25 Fargas, Justin RB 6-1 220 29 7 USC-Keep unless Cable is still HC, then cut, or trade

    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

    52 Morrison, Kirk MLB 6-2 240 27 5 San Di State-CKeep if willing to move outside…otherwise let him go

    2 Russell, JaMarcus QB 6-6 260 24 3 Lou St-Keep until training camp to see if he put any work in during the offseason

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

    HairyBush Says:
    January 22nd, 2010 at 11:44 am
    Bo, do you see no hope for DMAC, even if used differently?

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

    Sure, if he is used to shine Al’s shoes. JK!

    The knock on DMAC when drafted was that he went down easily and fumbled too much. Little did the experts know that both issues would worsen considerably in the pros.

    He must give way to Bush for RB carries. Theoretically he could be used to catch passes or run back kicks, but I fear his fumbling would only hurt us there too.

    I say trade the bust before his value drops even more.

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  • RaiderRockstar

    BSJ likes McFadden as much as new englandraider likes the man who abused him when he was young

  • HairyBush

    EL tato- sorry to burst your bubble, but higging is done. It’s to bad because he was an electrifying punt returner. WAS is the key word.

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

    Dakota,

    Re” List. I would keep Javon Walker before McFadden. Higgins mught be worth keeping too.

  • RaiderRockstar

    Dakota,

    nice cut/keep list. Only changes I would make …

    how do you cut Charlie Frye without even thinking twice about it and give Warren & Kelly a big fat “maybe” ?

    our run defense is awful!

  • El Tato

    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.

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

    Even after his bad rookie year I had hope for JLH, then in 2008 he really started to make plays.

    But at that time his IQ was around 80…after Russell left him hanging out to dry a few times, his IQ is now around 65….and that is too low…even for the Raiders.

  • new englandraider

    lol rockstar
    is that pay back for the touched by an uncle thing? good one

  • HairyBush

    Dakota, very reasonable list. I don’t love stanford routt by any means, as a 3rd corner I have to admit we could do a LOT worse. consider that

    I still can’t believe Chris Carr was starting for the Ravens

  • RaiderRockstar

    Higgins mught be worth keeping too.

    ***

    I agree BSJ.

    I would give JLH more reps at WR and find another return man – or maybe just let him return kicks?

    He’s a flop at PR.

  • new englandraider

    when routt is not covering slot receiver he is a pretty decent corner

  • RaiderRockstar

    is that pay back for the touched by an uncle thing? good one

    ***

    i’m not from Alabama. fire away!

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

    January 22nd, 2010 at 11:54 am
    Dakota,

    nice cut/keep list. Only changes I would make …

    how do you cut Charlie Frye without even thinking twice about it and give Warren & Kelly a big fat “maybe” ?

    our run defense is awful!

    +++++++++++

    I like Losman over Frye and we should not carry 4 QBs IMO. I like the idea of Kelly or Warren playing next to a legit NT (the one we finally draft or sign this year right? lol), and I am not sure which one would make the better three tech DT next to our new NT.

  • new englandraider

    dude is too scared to return punts. why do u think he 1st instinct is to run backwards or sideways?

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

    LOL, the A’s top prospect Grant Desme quit MLB to become a priest…

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

  • RaiderRockstar

    new englandraider is like Wes Welker.

    only used in the slots :)

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

    Bo Schembechler Jackson Says:
    January 22nd, 2010 at 11:53 am
    Dakota,

    Re” List. I would keep Javon Walker before McFadden. Higgins mught be worth keeping too.
    _________________

    I know you would….lol

  • new englandraider

    i think tommy kelly played like crap this past season. he was in top 10 in tackles for dlinemen. something i wouldnt have thought. hopefully he’ll be better next season as he will be another yr removed from major knee surgery

  • HairyBush

    lata fellas