Saunders is Raiders’ OC


UPDATE: No confirmation from the Raiders, but beat writer Steve Corkran reports sources familiar with the situation say Al Saunders has been hired as the Raiders’ offensive coordinator.

Al Saunders will be the Raiders’ offensive coordinator under Hue Jackson, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Saunders interviewed with Jackson on Wednesday and was considered a favorite for the job, having worked with Jackson with the Baltimore Ravens and also having interviewed with Al Davis for the Raiders’ head coaching job on two occasions.

Saunders has been a play-calling coordinator in his previous stops with the Kansas City Chiefs and St. Louis Rams. Jackson said Tuesday he would call the plays this year and was looking to the coordinator to run offensive meetings when he was occupied with other areas of the team.


Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • edward teach

    The whole thing about gangs wearing Raiders gear was always so stupid to me. Read Stanley “Tookie” Williams or “Monster” Kody Scott’s books to see how vicious gangs in LA were before the Raiders ever arrived, or before hip hop arrived, for that matter.


    Kody Scott’s book was so disturbing I couldn’t even finish it. I remember reading a particular chapter and at one point he mentioned how old he was when all that was happening. They were just little kids. Unbelieveable.

  • priesttj

    The hardest thing for a young WR to learn is how to set up a DB which requires crisp route running making it look the same everytime no matter what pattern he’s running. Because every defense looks different. Every DB plays you different so he has understand how to set up each and every DB no matter who they are. You cannot change your look for each DB it has to be consistent everytime. That way the DB doesn’t know what your running. When you cut things short or roundoff a route because this DB is more physical they will all play you physical.

    You have to set a standard for yourself which make sthem do the guessing and not YOU. When they make you change your game they win if you cut a route short because of the way your being played the QB suffers. The more consistent you are the more successful you are. Because the QB can now rely on you and the DB has to guess and take chances. When he can force you to take chances they win it throws the entire offense off kilter.

    That is why it takes so long for youn g WR’s to develope they have to learn the league(how each DB plays) and force their will on any and every DB. Those are the most successful WR’s. Route running is an art in every sense of the word. When your learning that art your natural skills suffer until everything is second nature. And every WR is different as far as how lkong it takes to get his technigue to the point where it’s second nature.

  • # Raiders for life Says:
    January 21st, 2011 at 9:36 pm

    I was watching some highlights of DHB during his time at Maryland on youtube.
    WTF happened. He used to be able to catch a football.
    key phrase is ‘highlights’.
    Ryan Leaf had a highlight film.
    So did Jamarcus Russell, for that matter.

    What it didn’t show was the biggest knock on DHB was dropping or bobbling balls when he was wide open

  • Al Saunders is a great resource for Jackson.

  • Priest, why don’t you just coach pop warner or something? Take that in depth knowledge of football and apply it to something other than spinning Al Davis’s asinine decisions. I’m not denying you know the game. I’m just saying, what’s the point? Someone could just sit here and say, “we need to do what the Steelers do”, and how would they be wrong? The object is winning, right? You’re a skilled carpenter in a ghost town.

  • HBO replaying Jets training camp, starting Saturday. Looks like they’ve made their SB prediction.

  • priesttj

    KK I really honestly cannot think of a better match Hue Jackson is an innovator an aggressive chnace taking sort of mad scientist. Al Saunders has seen it all just like Mr Davis he can help Hue Jackson be more grounded and evenhanded with the offense. Yet stay aggressive and allow the talent to dictate the pace of the game instea dof schemes. Mike Bush is what Al Saunders would love to have and DMC would be a devastating weapon. This offense unlimited potential with these two men at the helm and Jason Campbell will get the best training he could ever imagine.

    He’s getting what Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady and Payton Manning have benefitted from. Basic smashmouth football with a mixture of innovation. That is my opinion of this union.

  • CDERaider

    Hue has personality and seems genuinely committed. Wonder how long that will last….

  • CDERaider

    Al’s got 1-2 years left max. If Al junior takes over, what can we reasonably expect? We’ll find out pretty soon.

  • priesttj

    As long as they win. ……..period

  • priesttj

    I know Mr Davis looks bad but to be honest whenever I ask about him they always tell me. Hell he’s doing better than I am. Now I’ll admit I don’t know what that means but I’m just saying.

    But as I think of it when he is gone………man are we gonna miss him because there is just no one like him the same as there was no one like Miles Davis. Different worlds but very similar men in a lot of ways.

  • CDERaider

    Priesttj. I read ya. When it does happen, we and the rest of the NFL world will give props where its due. He is definitely an icon that defined his time and the Raiders. When its all said and done, he’s had a life and career most can never know. Despite the downtimes, and there have been too many in the last 20 yrs by any account, no one can deny the accomplishments. In a way, watching the rise and fall and rise and fall of Al and the Raiders is one of the reasons I love this team so much. I hope we can get one more run before it’s time to pass the torch for Al Jr. to take over. I think there’s a chance. And that’s what keeps it interesting. There might be one more flame left in the bottle. What a finish that would be.

  • priesttj

    Totally agreee

    I can’t wait until next season and this one isn’t even over yet.

  • RaiderRockstar

    Kurt Schottenheimer will not be retained by San Fran.

    They just hired Brad Seely to be ST Coordinator

    He’s 61 years old – 3 years younger than Saunders

    Chiefs DC from 1999-2000
    Redskins DC in 2001
    Lions DC from 2002-2003

    Hue Jackson was RB Coach for the Skins back in 2001

    is this guy a candidate for the DC job or does he get marked out just for being Marty’s little bro?

  • RaiderRockstar

    Changes in Tampa: The Buccaneers fired their offensive line coach Pete Mangurian. The team wanted to go in a different direction

    -Adam Schefter (twitter)


    Pete Mangurian would bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the offense imo

    He was HC for Cornell University 1998-2000
    He was OC for the Falcons 2001-2003
    He was TE Coach for the Patriots 2005-2008

    then Bucs OL Coach the past 2 years

    before going to Cornell he spent 1991-1997 coaching O-Lines for the Broncos, Giants & Falcons

  • TerrapinRaider

    Listened to HJacks interview above and when asked about improving the team he said it was too early in the process to go through that. BUT in the same breath he mentioned we need better protection along the OL. Looks like something is going to be shaken up a bit.

    My hunch:

    CC out, Campbell in. They may give Campbell a shot at RT but more than likely he remains RG. Walker will be a backup RG/RT. Bringing in a FA RT. May draft center late. Gallery gets re-inked for another 2-4yrs. Henderson can compete at RT but will be backup LT.

    Either way, you’re looking at a new right side and eventaully a new center late down the road. We’ll see if Veldheer can really improve from one year to the next.

    If this team can get better at pass propection (while not gettig worse at run blocking) you will see a significant improvement in offensive production. I don’t know how you can stop it. Its scary. With good pass protection our speed guys become undefendable. A lot of the playcalling last year was done to protect the OL. I noticed that while a lot here were complaining about the playcalls (sometimes rightfully so). Looks like some of that is going to change next year.

  • TerrapinRaider

    I’m less certain after listening to the presser but I still think there’s a possibility Veldheer is at center next year. CC and Satele are the only two pure ZBS holdovers. That systems is changing. Veldheer is the only other center we have on the roster and I think he can be a GREAT one vs being an average LT.

  • raidertbone

    It seems like they’ve been grooming Veldheer for Center, which is just fine with me. He made a ton of progress in his first year, and we can finally get that long-haired hippee (Satele) off the line! We need to draft or hook-up through FA 2-3 O-linemen and see if we can work Campbell in somehow. I like what we’ve done so far in the off-time. I know the schedule is not out yet, but if the rotation holds, who are we slated to play next year — AFC East and NFC South?

  • AirborneRaider

    Winston Moss will be our new DC! Print that. He will make the transition to the 3-4 for the Raiders.

  • raidertbone

    737.luvmarvhub Says:
    January 21st, 2011 at 10:37 pm
    Speaking of uniforms– the color teal became a really hot item in sports wear about 10-15 years ago. It seems a lot of new schools built went with teal and black. Of course, all the teams went with black in their uniforms in order to sell their wares to the gang subculture. That made me sick. Basketball teams, baseball teams (think Chisox), all of them wanted a piece of the action. Raiders, of course, already had the black (and the gangs in LA).

    Anyway, teal is now not so hot. It was just one of those trendy colors. Sharks and schools are stuck with it.

    Even the L.A. Kings hockey club switched to sliver and black to take advantage of increased merchandising, particularly within the inner-city culture. It wasn’t long after that the White Sox changed their colors to black with silver and white trim, as well — and their sales subsequently exploded. Then, the whole “alternate black jersey” thing surfaced. All this and the Raiders have NEVER changed!

  • raidertbone

    silver, not “sliver” (oops!)

  • Just Fire Baby

    AFC East and NFC South?


    AFC East and NFC North I believe.

    The two divisions with the only teams playing right now.

  • Just Fire Baby

    Switching to the 3-4 would be a disaster, IMO.

    Don’t understand moving to a defense that will decrease Matt S and Lamar Houston playing time, while increasing Quinton Groves and Trevor Scotts playing time, and one where we only have only 1 of the key 3 interior players (NT, 2 ILB’s).

    Can we sprinkle it in, sure. Play a base 3-4, I don’t see it.

    Remember Al spent the presser talking up Wauffle, and Wauffle has never coached a 3-4 front in his proffesional career.

  • we’ve finally gotten the right mix of Defensive linemen… in the past we simply did not have enough…

    we’ve finally got a D line we can be proud of…

    with adequate backups as well…

    and now some of you guys want to mess with that???

    why fix something that is finally working???

    changing anything on our D line now would be asinine…

  • edward teach

    It’s funny how some things take on a life of their own sometimes.

    Hue Jackson said in the press conference that the Raiders will have an attacking defense. Jay Glazer from FOX Sports reports (without a source, or anything to back up his assertion) that the Raiders are now looking for a 3-4 guy to bring “an attacking defense” to Oakland. Nobody else has reported this, unless you count Bill Williamson of ESPN, who says that there’s “been talk” of it. Sure has. Jay Glazer. And no one else has said a word.

    Now all the semipros are convinced that our new DC is coming from New England or Pittsburgh or Baltimore or someplace else that runs a 3-4 defense. Even Winston Moss would be bringing the 3-4 with him, despite the fact that Green Bay was a 4-3 team before Dom Capers took over their defense a couple of years ago.

    I agree with JFB and Florida Pete; we have the best 4-3 D-line coach in the business and we have the right personnel for it. What we don’t have is the right personnel for he 3-4, and why anyone would want to blow that up and start over with the young talent we have just learning to play together is beyond me.

  • buckeyeraider

    G’Morning fellas, Pete, Vegas..

    I agree with you guys. I don’t wanna see Waufle’s 4 man front replaced as the base defense. That front four is playin good ball. Their 47 sacks were amongst the league lead. I imagine they would be amongst the leaders in TFL as well.

    The stats don’t nesc. show it but I think the run D did improve as well. They still have the bugaboo of giving up the long run. One 60 yd TD run will skewer your stats every time.

    I think that is a product of the LB and secondary being in man coverage so much. And we know that probably ain’t changing any time soon.

    Wouldn’t mind seeing some 3-4 packages mixed in, though. Give opposing OC’s something else to gameplan for. Mix it up a little. give em some variable fronts and blitz packages to have to prepare for.

  • Just Fire Baby

    Our run defense didn’t gain in the rankings, but we did give up 20 less YPG and 10 less rushing TD’s last year.

    A start, and a move in the right direction. We also stopped way more 3rd and 2 and 3rd and 1’s than I could remember in years past.

  • Thec07

    Just Fire Baby Says:
    January 22nd, 2011 at 8:28 am
    Switching to the 3-4 would be a disaster, IMO.


    Truth…We had a lot of sacks also, why change that?

  • Just Fire Baby

    Change for the sake of change apparently.

    Teams are going to make plays running the ball. But we need to find a way to turn those well run plays by our opponents, from 50+ yard runs to 15-20 yard runs.

    Just way too many 50+ yard runs. Someone in the secondary has to get the guy down, or someone at the second level at least make him move his feet and slow down to allow him to get caught from behind.

  • buckeyeraider

    Their short yardage run D was much improved. That 1st KC game in Oak where the Chiefs came in avg like 190 yds/gme rushing. Leading the league.

    There were about five or six instances in the first half alone where they were 3rd and 1 or 3rd and 2, 4th and 1 and they couldn’t gain an inch. Raider front just stonewalled ’em again and again.

    There were only two games all year where I think Raider defense really lost battle at LOS. VS. Houston, where Foster was held out 1st qtr as punishment. Even his backup was gashing them. Then he came in and ran wild.

    The other game where they got whipped up front was vs. Indy. Colts gashed em for 5 or 6 a pop, no matter who the back was. They did play that game without Seymour. Re-sign big Rich.

    Other than that it was just one play a game here or there. Somebody (like Branch) would miss a tackle near the LOS, and the RB was out the back door and off and running.

    Don’t know how they fix that. That is a result of the secondary with their back to LOS. That’s not gonna change.

  • HairyBush

    A good Raider joke


    Tom Brady, after living a full life, died. When he got to heaven, God was showing him around.

    They came to a modest little house with a faded Patriots flag in the window.

    “This house is yours for eternity, Tom,” said God.
    “This is very special; not everyone gets a house up here.”

    Tom felt special, indeed, and walked up to his house.

    On his way up the porch, he noticed another house just around the corner.

    It was a 3-story mansion with BLACK & SILVER sidewalk, a 50-foot tall flagpole with an enormous RAIDER’S logo flag, and SKULL & CROSSBONES masterfully etched on every window.

    Tom looked at God and said “God, I’m not trying to be ungrateful, but I have a question.

    I was an all-pro QB, I hold many NFL records, and I even won a few Super Bowls.”

    God said “So what’s your point, Tom?”

    “Well, why does Jason Campbell get a better house than me?”

    God chuckled, and said: “Tom, that’s not Campbell’s house,

    IT’S MINE!”

  • buckeyeraider

    That probably wasn’t fair to single out Branch. He’s actually a pretty sure tackler. His problem last year was more in coverage.

    I guess I just can’t get past the image of him missing CJ2K right in the hole that let him get that big run. That long TD run just broke open the game. Until thaen they had really done a pretty good job of keeping CJ2K in check.

    It was more VY scrambles that hurt them up until that point.

  • Just Fire Baby

    Branch was dreadful in the season opener.

    But than again, so was our offense and the killer turnovers.

    Just looked at the drive chart for that game. Tennessee had one 4 play drive for -2 yards that ended in a FG, and a 3 play 3 yard drive that ended in a TD.

    7 plays for 1 yard that resulted in 10 points, lol

  • # edward teach Says:
    January 22nd, 2011 at 9:00 am

    I agree with JFB and Florida Pete; we have the best 4-3 D-line coach in the business and we have the right personnel for it. What we don’t have is the right personnel for he 3-4, and why anyone would want to blow that up and start over with the young talent we have just learning to play together is beyond me.

    well I agree, but history tels me that, when we finally have the personnel for some scheme, Al changes scheme..

    So I have no doubt Al i changing for 3-4 =) LOL

  • 3-4 defense is overrated IMHO. I rather have 4-3 defense, create pressure from the front 4, play man, and cover 1.
    We have great talent on our DL, we have a great 4-3 DL coach, so we should continue to run a 4-3 defense, but we should mix some 3-4 looks too. We have enough atletes/ talent on defense to do that.

  • ONE I AM

    The Real MaddenRaider Says:
    January 21st, 2011 at 11:06 am
    They still have Gannon jerseys? That would be interesting if they didn’t. Our best player in the past 20 years
    Gannon our best player in the last 20 years?
    was that a joke?

    I think we have a few HOFers and one finalist that would disagree with that.

  • Good Afternoon Raider Nation!

  • Branch made a lot of mistakes in coverage last season, but I still think he should continue to start at S. The guy played CB at college, so he is still learning the new position.

  • big oak boy

    gannon equals shane falco from the replacements without the happy ending he sacked his self in the red zone remember gannon equals kerry collins

  • Just Fire Baby

    Branch should compete to start, but I think upgrading the SS position may be one of the easier positions to upgrade.

  • Just Fire Baby

    Rich Gannon won playoff games. Never was a one and done in the playoffs.

    Can’t say that about any other Raider QB in my lifetime.

    That guy was pure awesome.

  • big oak boy

    he was half awsome no rings remember the guy choked in the super bowl raider fans dont forget it

  • Just Fire Baby

    The best part of the presser was Al taking shots at John Elway.

    That was pretty funny.

  • Vegas,

    Our main problem is stopping the run, so we need to fix that 1st. We need a good DC who understands gap control, and we need to add a WLB. We also need to add a run stopping DT/ NT rgat can stay healthy, and play more snaps than Henderson. We need to keep our DTs fresh in the 4th Q. Branch, MM, Brown, and Huff (if we resign him) is enough talent at S. I don’t think we need to add another S unless we don’t resign Huff & Eugene.

  • Just Fire Baby

    Big Oak Boy,

    As a 31 year old, that is the only Raider Super Bowl I watched, so in my eyes at least he got us there.

    I was at the AFC championship game prior to that, when he light it up, and that was one of the best days of my life.

    As soon as another Raider QB wins a Super Bowl, Gannon will go down a notch in my book. Until than, he is easily the greatest Raider I ever saw play QB in the last 25 years, and there is really no comparision.

  • Didn’t Al Davis compare Jabustus to John Elway when we drafted him?

  • big oak boy

    ever since i saw gannon live the whole season in 2000 when the goose crushed gannon after that the guy was playing scared thats where my like for gannon took a dive the super bowl sealed it

  • 796.Raider O Says:
    January 22nd, 2011 at 10:53 am
    Didn’t Al Davis compare Jabustus to John Elway when we drafted him?


    Jamarcus is a GREAT player! Get over it!

  • Gannon did well for a few reasons:
    1- coaching
    2- he had talent around him. Great OL, HOF WRs, and good RBs.
    3- he was a perfict fit for that offense.
    4- we had a good defense. E Allen, Sir Charles, R Woodson, so we created a lot of TOs that gave our offense more chances a scoring.

  • 794.Raider O Says:
    January 22nd, 2011 at 10:50 am

    Our main problem is stopping the run, so we need to fix that 1st. We need a good DC who understands gap control, and we need to add a WLB. We also need to add a run stopping DT/ NT rgat can stay healthy, and play more snaps than Henderson. We need to keep our DTs fresh in the 4th Q. Branch, MM, Brown, and Huff (if we resign him) is enough talent at S. I don’t think we need to add another S unless we don’t resign Huff & Eugene.


    Yes, that is our bigest prob. But sorr WR’s and worse QB is second!