By Steve Corkran
Friday, January 18th, 2013 at 11:04 pm in Oakland Raiders.
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.