Breaking news: Raiders hire seasoned, well-regarded offensive coordinator


The Raiders on Friday hired Greg Olson to be their offensive coordinator, a person familiar with the situation confirmed Friday night.
Olson spent last season as the assistant head coach/quarterbacks coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars. He replaces Greg Knapp in Oakland and will work under coach Dennis Allen.
Olson has six years’ experience as an offensive coordinator in the NFL, including three with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, from 2009-11. He also had one year in that capacity with the Detroit Lions and two with the St. Louis Rams.
During that time, Olson was credited with the rapid development of Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman into one of the league’s more promising players and for getting the most out of the Rams skill position players.
In 2006, the Rams became only the fourth team in NFL history with a 4,000-yard passer (Marc Bulger), 1,500-yard rusher (Steven Jackson) and two 1,000-yard receivers (Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce).
It’s also worth noting that Olson favors a power-blocking scheme, which means the zone-blocking scheme favored by Knapp and fired offensive line coach Frank Pollack are gone after one season.
That should help jump-start running back Darren McFadden, who averaged only 3.3 yards per carry in 2012 and never looked comfortable in the scheme.
Jackson had his best season in 2006, when Olson was his offensive coordinator.
Olson also worked with Drew Brees when both were at Purdue and Olson was the quarterbacks coach and coached under Jon Gruden, when both were with the Buccaneers.
Allen hired Olson after a lengthy and thorough search that included interviews with numerous high-profile candidates. In the end, Allen felt as if Olson is the best fit.
Many in league circles speak highly of Olson and say he’s a bright offensive coach. It’s conceivable that Olson will join the Raiders in time to help the coaching staff work the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., next week.
No word yet from the Raiders on when Olson will be introduced as their offensive coordinator.


Steve Corkran

  • RaidersAllday_LtsGeTit

    Alec Olgetree was not getting manhandled by anyone on that BAMA team

    the guy has speed and could be sideline to sideline type player

  • jackasspuria

    Just Fire Baby

    The comical line I heard about Jones from his lackluster game was…

    “Jones was busy talking to the opposing tight ends of what he was going to buy after he got drafted and got all that signing bonus money.”

  • JB

    If it isn’t Knapp then it’s good news.

  • jackasspuria



    For all we know, Gruden is the one that steered Olson in the Raiders’ direction.

    Jon pegged Greg Olson as his new QB’s coach in Tampa after Gruden fired Paul Hackett.

  • RaidersAllday_LtsGeTit

    aiders new offensive coordinator, Greg Olson, was the Jaguars quarterbacks coach last season. Prior to that he had been the offensive coordinator with the Buccaneers for three seasons (2009-11).

    Few would have a better idea of his performance as a coach and coordinator than a writer who covered every game as well as all the players he coached in those stops.

    We start with Alfie Crow from Jaguars blog Big Cat Country who gives us some insight into Olson’s work with the quarterbacks.

    “Olson joined the Jaguars last season as assistant head coach/quarterbacks coach under Mike Mularkey,” said Crow. “Olson quickly made a difference improving Blaine Gabbert’s overall mechanics, especially his footwork and his balance in his drop back. Some of that translated to the game, but obviously Gabbert didn’t seem to improve as much as most would have liked. Olson was a coach the Jaguars were said to have wanted to retain however, but were not going to block any moves. I do know that in the past as an offensive coordinator Olson has employed a zone-blocking scheme and has seen big years from Steven Jackson and LaGarrette Blount.”

    Next I asked Sander Philipse from the Buccaneers blog, Bucs Nation.

    “First, he’s mainly a West Coast Offense guy,” said Philipse. “He has some influences from other offenses, most notably some of Mike Martz, and the Bucs always talked about a run-heavy, throw-deep offense — but that never really came out on the field.

    “With the Bucs, he had a few weird staples. He’d run really badly-blocked end-arounds with Arrelious Benn, which were routinely disastrous and never gained much yardage. He’d have one or two deep shots off play action per game.

    “As for a run game, he never seemed to commit to either zone or power runs and ran a mixture of both.

    “Slow starts were an issue throughout his tenure, and the Bucs didn’t score a single point in the first quarter of 25 of 48 of his games. They managed to score 7 or more points in the first quarter just 10 times. The offense would often get going later on in games, but the early going was always a problem.”

    What Philipse said about Olson is very interesting because he does not have the reputation as being a West Coast Offense type coach. He certainly didn’t run that type of offense while with the Rams in 06-07.

    It seems to me, he tried to tailor his scheme to fit the personnel he had on the Buccaneers. That is what the Raiders are hoping is the case.

    And I hate to say it, but both descriptions sound very much like they are talking about Greg Knapp last season. Great QB coach, West Coast Offense, mix of zone and power blocking scheme, slow starter, Lack of long passes. The knocks with regard to play calling from fan comments I read from when Olson was still OC in Tampa Bay were uncanny in their similarity to Knapp as well.

    The main difference is in the track record with players who thrived in his system. Carson Palmer, Darren McFadden, and Marcel Reece are three such players who should do well with Olson. That could make all the difference. We shall see.


  • Raider guy

    A reminder that people were disappointed when gruden was hired.

    Here is a guy who is going to run power ball with deep throws(hue jax, gruden, turner) and some of you want to mail it in because of you haven’t heard of him?

    It hasn’t been easy being a raider fan lately but it must be hell for some of you what with all your vast football knowledge that supersedes what our coach and gm know.

    May you all find successful employment in either role with an nfl team (hopefully just not the raiders because I think your not gonna do as good of a job as you think you would).

  • eldiabs

    without dumping Briesel Carlisle and Barnes this is all for nothing

  • Monster Lawg


    Since yawl follw my lawg recordings pretty closely, thought I’d let yawl know may latest deuce lawg was so big the toilet got scared when it saw the turd comin and ran off. But it’s all good. This behemouth monster size lawg is just sittin on the floor in the mens room at olive garden for display. Some might call it a oiece of art, some might call it a piece of schiitt. But it is a thing of beauty.


  • J Hill

    I hope Smith an Barkley have off the charts workouts and go 1-2 in the draft to the QB starved Chiefs and Jags.

  • Scourge

    J-puria, that’s what I was thinking too. Given some of the posts this evening that are associated with that sense, I thought I’d ask to see reactions.

  • Priest Remixed

    RaiderRockstar Says:
    January 19th, 2013 at 1:39 pm
    it appears that Jim Caldwell in Baltimore and Pep Hamilton in Indianapolis will be the NFL’s only African-American offensive play callers in 2013.



    Hue Jackson is still the asst waterboy in Cincy

    Can we stop talking about him, now?

    I’ll be introducing a 6 part series entitled “I did it My Way”….the Hue Jackson Story” which will be an in depth examonation of his life and legacy; on and off the gridiron.

    I hope you enjoy it.

  • RaidO

    Olsen= Knapp 2.0

    “Tampa Bay offensive coordinator Greg Olson suggested quarterback Josh Freeman and some other players might have lost their swagger in the loss to Detroit. He might have a point. But I don’t think you’d be out of line in suggesting Olsen’s play calling might have played a role in the loss of swagger.”

    A lot of the stuff on Olsen sounds like Knapp’s crap

  • jackasspuria

    Priest Remixed

    Please tell me you got an in-depth one-on-one session with Hubris’ preferred nail professional!?

  • RaidersAllday_LtsGeTit

    Hue Jackson was the greatest coach we had since Gruden and u want to stop talking about him?

    Dennis Allen is the worst coach we have had since well.. name ur pick other then Madden, Gruden, Hue Jackson, Tom Flores, and 80’s Art shell

    There is plenty to choose from

  • RaidO

    Olsen= Knapp 2.0

    “Olson was the subject of much hatred from Buccaneers fans, mostly for a lackluster offense and eternal slow starts, as well as the infamous Benn’d-around. Still, Olson did preside over a successful 2010, arguably Josh Freeman’s best season and Legarrette Blount’s breakout year. It’s just a shame that he also presided over the rather disastrous 2011 showing, when the Bucs trotted out one of the league’s worst offenses and seemingly every single player regressed.”

  • Scourge

    I’m still kinda curious what Al Saunders role in all this is. I was trying to think of some role to compare his to. The closest I got is Michael Byrne’s role as the advisor to the Russian president in the movie Sum of All Fears. He’s an experienced guy who understands some of what AD was trying to do and has worked with the returning coaches and players. he can use this knowledge and experience to be the advisor behind the throne who can whisper in Mark’s ear when the coaches and players are arguing among themselves re: schemes, etc. I think he’s also an insurance policy in the short-term if a good HC is needed real quick. I suspect either AD and/or some of AD’s advisors knew what mark might be facing and arranged to have AS on the staff. I’m betting he makes enough of a salary to make it worth hanging around. But I could be wrong.

  • Al_is_theraiders

    jfb…jump aboard man theres room…lol…DA will be gone soon anyways, reggie following.

  • BillyBobJoe Unplugged

    If Knapp was so bad, why did Denvers’ Manning just sign him? I’ll tell ya why. Oakland let that one slip away. Now if Knapp can ruin Manning like he did the entire Raider offense, defense and special teams, we’ll be in good position to claim the AFC west.

  • Priest Remixed

    jackasspuria Says:
    January 19th, 2013 at 2:56 pm
    Priest Remixed

    Please tell me you got an in-depth one-on-one session with Hubris’ preferred nail professional!?
    You’ll be pleased to know that yes…I was fortunate to obtain an exclusive with all of them.

    Be looking for continued sneak peak excerpts of not only the book I mentioned but the sequel (soon to be released) entitled “You Can’t Handle the Truth”- Rising Above the Flak and Folly of the NFL.- by Hue Jackson.

  • J Hill

    Dennis Allen is the worst coach we have had since well.. name ur pick other then Madden, Gruden, Hue Jackson, Tom Flores, and 80’s Art shell


    Coach is only as good as his players.

    Name a HOF coach that had a bunch of nobody’s?

    Name a SB coach that had a bunch of non pro bowlers?

  • RaidO

    A Tampa bay fan on Olsen:

    “Greg Olson is an absolute embarrassment. The only offensive coordinator I’ve ever seen that was this predictable was Steve Addazio when he was with the Gators. How on earth this guy still has a job is mind blowing.”

    Ha ha sound familiar? Sounds like us talking about Knapp.

  • jackasspuria


    Sure does sound like Knapp 2.0.

    But, criticism follows every coach, no matter what.

    When Mike McCarthy was hired by the Green Bay Packers as head coach, the Cheese message boards were an inferno of pure hatred and ridiculed the hiring saying McCarthy made the 49ers’ O worse during his tenure as OC.

    From Andy Reid to Jim Caldwell to Cam Cameron even Norvel and Josh McDaniels, offensive guys are always criticized at every gig they’ve taken.

  • RaidO

    A Tampa bay fan on Olsen:

    “That Offensive Coordinator should never come back to tampa Smh.. When you run a play like that its common since to have a small fast player that comes around to get the ball. Never Coordinate an offense again even on Madden”


  • BillyBobJoe Unplugged

    We had the personel to be good this year (last season). Our coaching staff was below sub-par.

  • Just Fire Baby

    Saunders is pushing 67 years old. I was watching an NFL network thing, and there he was coaching the San Diego replacement players, in the early 80’s.

    And he looked old then and it was 30 years ago, lol.

    Why would he want the stress of having to talk the media, get 2nd guessed all the time, have to stand on the sidelines for 4 hours, etc as an OC?

    He probably is making close to 6 figures, and is the last guy in to work, and can work from home half the time.

  • edward teach

    1045.Al_is_theraiders Says:
    January 19th, 2013 at 2:44 pm
    i wanna see tj get a screen…i want to see him in open space.


    I don’t think Priest runs as well as he used to. The play would have to be blocked pretty well.

  • CDERaider

    from Reggie interview :

    Q: Last year you were obviously hamstrung by the salary cap problems and the need to jettison players. Are you in a position this year to basically shape this team the way you wanted to? How constricted are you going to be?

    A: “Personally, I think we’re about a year away from that. We’re not in the salary cap situation like last year, but we still have issues .. We’re not out of the woods by any stretch, but we are better off than last year.”

    Q: You look at the way you seem to be approaching things, salary-cap conscious, building with young players, talent you want to develop yourself.

    A: “Everything is still going to be predicated on money…”


    Reggie said clearly they’re still one year away from being able to shape the team the way the want. As unsatisfying as the pick is, Olson was probably the only *realistic* choice available to DA. Look for major cost cutting personnel moves this season. I *do* expect a strong draft from Reggie though. *Lots* of talent this year, especially on D, trade down and stock pile picks.

    As much as this year will sting, this sets us up for a comeback next year. Clean cap, full draft, high picks, and a potentially new staff. And that’s really the *best case* scenario considering where we stand *today*. We have to take some steps backward to move forward. That’s the way the salary cap era works when you get in the cap hole. And a 2 year turnaround is pretty good considering how deep we’re in.

    Things are looking up despite the current pain.

    2014. The Empire Strikes Back!

  • MiamiRaider78

    Some of you ladies are mailing it in already? Not one play called and Greg Olson is already Greg Knapp pt 2?

    Some of you Raider fans are a bunch of fck’n Debbie Downers. lol

  • jackasspuria


    From a Green Bay fan on McCarthy:

    “And this is our new head coach… a guy that has the distinct honor of creating an offense that finished the season ranked last in the NFL in points scored and yards gained. Great job.”

  • Just Fire Baby

    The Georgia defensive player I was most impressed with on the year was the big dude in the middle Jenkins.

    He was ineligible for the bowl game though, and Ogletree had a great bowl game.

    Jenkins in the 5th round (highly, highly doubt he falls that far) would be ideal.

    Maybe we can “catfish” him to plummet his stock some?

  • jackasspuria


    It could be a coping mechanism — set the bar at its lowest point, so when success does come, the jubilation and glee are ten fold.

    If you expect a failure, but get a so-so or a winner, you feel better.

  • RaidersAllday_LtsGeTit

    Coach is only as good as his players.

    Name a HOF coach that had a bunch of nobody’s?

    Name a SB coach that had a bunch of non pro bowlers?


    Hue was rocking with teh same offensive of talent, dealing with same injuries.. and a 5f 10 corner.. and a a Corner who racked up 18 penalties.

    No execuses

  • jackasspuria


    I’m in the wait-and-see mode.

    Like I’ve said here before, the fact Olson is a power-running, vertical offense and design the offense around your player’s strengths type of coach should have gotten him instant brownie points.

  • RaidO

    Wow more

    A Tampa bay fan on Olsen:

    “He runs the most boring and predictable offense of all time. Good luck with that”

  • ian85

    If we have another top 5 pick next year which I’m sure we will Reggie and DA need to kick rocks

  • RaidersAllday_LtsGeTit

    A good coach maximizes his talent to fit in the right scheme

  • J Hill

    Hue was rocking with teh same offensive of talent, dealing with same injuries.. and a 5f 10 corner.. and a a Corner who racked up 18 penalties.


    1-5 to finish the season.

    No excuses.

  • RaidO

    This is all bad. More form Buc’s fans:

    “I watched Olsen for a few years, as I’m a Bucs fan, and let’s just say nobody was sad to see the guy go. Yet more bad news for Raiders fans.”

  • jackasspuria


    Raven’s fans on John Harbaugh

    “Wait? Our new coach is a guy who was in charge of kickers and punters for 9 years? He had one year experience coaching real football players, cornerbacks, and this is who we give the keys to the Ravens?”

  • J Hill

    I’m more interested in our FA possibilities and who we draft.

    Those things will have a lot more to do with us winning games next year than Olson’s Xs and Os.

    Power blocking, vertical passing, no excuses.

  • Scourge

    Just Fire Baby Says:
    January 19th, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    Saunders is pushing 67 years old.

    JFB, much of what you say may be true. Yet, there have been a number of posters in the past month or two who have mentioned how “in shape” AS is for man of his age. Now, if it’s true that he’s really in shape, then perhaps he still has the mental energy as well and would want to keep his hand it the game. And if AD, through MD, has made this possible for some/all the reasons I’ve mentioned, I say more power to him.

  • RaidO

    Do you realize the Raiders hired the QB coach from the second worst record team in the NFL as the OC?

  • jackasspuria


    49ers fans on Mike McCarthy

    “So long, goodbye. Hope the Packers love eating from the 49ers garbage can. Because that is all Mike McCarthy is, trash.”

    And how did that turn out?

    Not saying Olson will be great right out of the gate, but, he hasn’t even called a single play yet.

  • RaidO

    Jackasspuria Says:
    January 19th, 2013 at 3:16 pm

    Raven’s fans on John Harbaugh

    “Wait? Our new coach is a guy who was in charge of kickers and punters for 9 years? He had one year experience coaching real football players, cornerbacks, and this is who we give the keys to the Ravens?”

    Bad example because Harbaugh was a good ST coach..

  • jackasspuria


    And the Packers hired the architect of the NFL’s most comical and lousy last-place offense to be head coach — Mike McCarthy.

    Not saying Olson is going to be outstanding, but, you have to wait and see.

    For all we know Olson could stink. But, for all we know, he could be adequate, as well.

  • Scourge

    RaidO, I, uh, think we the picture, thanks.

    There’s probably some fan on his new team’s blog posting bits from this blog about how Knapp sucked, etc.

  • DJ Johnny

    Defense will continue their strong play from the end of last yr. Will be even better with stud defensive pick in 1st rd. and FA steals.

    Offense will be revitalized with Knapp gone and scheme tailored to player strengths.

    Breakout yr. for DMAC and passing game as well.

    Special teams bolstered with return game of Ford and better coverage with new special teams coach.


  • EMRaiders

    EMRaiders Says:
    January 18th, 2013 at 6:28 pm
    MarcusAllen Says:
    January 18th, 2013 at 6:19 pm
    Olson info:

    Olson previously served as the quarterbacks coach of the Detroit Lions, where he worked with Joey Harrington. He served as Lions offensive coordinator following the firing of Steve Mariucci and the demotion of Ted Tollner during the 2005 season.

    He was the offensive coordinator of the St. Louis Rams. During his first season in St. Louis, he did not call the offensive plays for the team until near the end of the year. He developed game plans with head coach Scott Linehan, and worked to develop the offense in general.

    Linehan decided to hand over play-calling duties to Olson so that he could manage games better, without having to focus on one side of the ball. Olson was fired after the 2007 season.

    In January 2008, Olson was hired by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to be their quarterbacks coach following the dismissal of Paul Hackett. On September 3, 2009, the day before the team’s final preseason game, the Buccaneers announced that Olson would replace Jeff Jagodzinski as Offensive Coordinator.

    He was fired on January 2, 2012, after his team posted a 4–12 record.

    In January 2012, Olson was hired to be the quarterbacks coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars.


    Let me finish that or “update” that for you…

    In January 2013 he was hired to be the Oakland Raiders offensive Coordinator.

    And here is a look into the future…

    In January of 2014 Olson was fired along with the whole “McKenzie Regime” after the Raiders went 1-15 for the season and owner Mark Davis moved the team to LA, where he hired former Raider HC John “Chucky” Gruden who took the Raiders to their first playoff appearance in 12 years.

    The move became known as “The Empire Strikes Back” and the re-hire of Gruden as “Chucky Returns” amongst the greatest fan base in sports anywhere, the Raider Nation.

    Oh…. one can only dream…


    This was posted yesterday. we called it a mile away. But, on the other hand, if this keeps going the way we called it, then it’s only one more year until Chucky returns and the Raiders are back in LA! (Only reason I like them in LA is because it is way closer to my home…I know, a bit of a selfish reason…)

  • Scourge

    Denver may have hired Knapp to coach whoever they draft to replace Manning down the road and not to have anything to do with Payton at all.