By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Monday, February 7th, 2011 at 9:02 am in Oakland Raiders.
Lost amid the postgame revelry at Cowboys stadium Sunday was the following message over the P.A. system:
“Darren Perry, you have a call. Please use the silver and black courtesy telephone . . . ”
Perry finally found one, only to see Winston Moss got there first.
OK, I made that up.
Perry and Moss are both believed be coaches of interest as Hue Jackson looks to fill out his staff, with no hard evidence other than a previous link to the organization. There are also defensive coordinator openings in Arizona and Tennessee, with Philadelphia switching offensive line coach Juan Castillo to defensive coordinator last week.
Perry coached safeties for the Raiders in 2007-08. Moss was a Los Angeles Raider from 1991-94 and has interviewed for the club’s head coaching position with Al Davis and at that time publicly expressed his interest in working for Al Davis.
During Super Bowl week, Perry brushed aside inquiries about moving up to a coordinator’s spot, while Moss at one point seemed open to the possibility of the Philadelphia opening before Castillo was hired.
Negotiations could not take place during Super Bowl week, but chances are any team that was interested in either man made some sort of contact through agents to gauge a level of interest. The same goes for two Pittsburgh assistants _ defensive backs coach Ray Horton and linebackers coach Keith Butler.
Both the Packers and Steelers run 3-4 systems heavy on zone blitzing. During an interview with a Fresno area radio station last week, Jackson dodged a direct question from Lorenzo Neal about what system the Raiders will run.
A couple of things point to the Raiders continuing with a 4-3. Defensive line coach Mike Waufle, currently the shining star of the Raiders’ staff, has been almost exclusively a 4-3 coach. The Raiders two best young talents along the defensive front, Matt Shaughnessy and Lamarr Houston, would be better in a 4-3 than a 3-4, and scheme is all about the best use of talent.
Shaughnessy is a natural 4-3 end, about three sacks and a winning record away from being a Pro Bowl candidate. Houston showed he can play left end in a 4-3, but his true calling may eventually be as a three-technique defensive tackle _ a role he could lay this year in the unlikely event of Richard Seymour leaving via free agency when a collective bargaining agreement is reached. In a 3-4, Houston is too small for the nose.
The ideal move for a defensive coordinator comes when he has some say over the rest of the defensive staff and brings in his own philosophy. That wouldn’t necessarily be the case in Oakland.
That’s not to say Perry and/or Moss aren’t looking for a chance to move up and are intrigued enough by Jackson and some of Oakland’s defensive talent to give it serious consideration.
SUPER BOWL NOTES
– Got it wrong again. Had the Steelers winning, 23-17, but can’t say I was unhappy to see Aaron Rodgers prevail over Ben Roethlisberger. Was also glad to see Charles Woodson get a ring, although the broken collarbone just before halftime reminded me of some of his injury-plagued seasons with the Raiders.
There’s a lot of Woodson stuff in Peter King’s Monday Morning Quarterback, including an exchange where King asked “what Al Davis might be saying tonight.”
Replied Woodson: “I should have never let him get out of here.”
In hindsight, absolutely. But face it, Woodson grew up as a professional in Green Bay in a way that never happened in Oakland. The Packers were the only team willing to ante up the kind of money the Raiders had been paying him.
– You wonder whether anyone got together with officials before hand with instructions to “let them play” or of it just worked out that way. But it was refreshing to see instances of minor contact in the secondary ignored. No pass interference, no cheap illegal contact first downs.
– The world champions will be on the Raiders’ schedule, although it won’t be determined for a couple of months at least when they’ll visit Lambeau Field.
With road games at Green Bay, Buffalo, Kansas City and Denver, the possibility exists for some frigid December games. (I’m assuming Minnesota will be back indoors next season).
– The Raiders may never have a passing game like Green Bay, but they can win playing an offensive style similar to Pittsburgh. The Steelers may well have won the Super Bowl had it not been for Rashard Mendenhall’s lost fumble.
That’s not to say Green Bay wasn’t a deserving winner. Rodgers’ passing numbers were amazing considering four potential first-down passes were drops and he missed a couple of open receivers with throws he usually makes.
– About the commercials . . . I don’t care. Never have.
– This year’s Super Bowl meal attraction at my house _ hickory smoked Turkey breast, soaked in a brine of apple juice, water, Kosher salt, brown sugar, maple syrup, sliced apples, sliced lemons, oregano and lemon pepper for 24 hours. Enough left over for a couple of days of sandwiches.