The Raiders hired long-time NFL coach Bobby April to fill their vacancy at special teams coordinator.
April spent the past three seasons as the Philadelphia Eagles special teams coordinator. Overall, he has coached 21 years in the NFL, mostly special teams, and 13 in the collegiate ranks.
Twice, April was named special teams coach of the year, both times when he was with the Buffalo Bills.
Coach Dennis Allen fired Steve Hoffman last season to coach special teams. Hoffman was one of four coaches fired by Allen after the 2012 season.
On Friday, the Raiders filled the first of those four vacancies by hiring Greg Olson to be their offensive coordinator. Allen still needs to add an offensive line and linebackers coach.
The Raiders confirmed the hiring of Olson on Saturday afternoon. They also said that the coaching staff is on its to Mobile, Ala., to commence preparation for coaching in the Senior Bowl.
Olson and April likely will be join the staff in Alabama at some point, if not from the outset.
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.
Running back Darren McFadden is a big part of the Raiders plans moving forward in 2013, general manager Reggie McKenzie said Thursday.
The Raiders still haven’t said a word about head coach Dennis Allen and general manager Reggie McKenzie interviewing candidates for their four coaching vacancies — offensive coordinator, offensive line, special teams coordinator and linebackers. Continue Reading
The Raiders interviewed Mike Martz for their offensive coordinator vacancy in an attempt to find an upgrade over the fired Greg Knapp, a person familiar with the situation said.
They also spoke with Juan Castillo about the prospect of taking over for fired offensive line coach Frank Pollack.
To this point, the Raiders have not released any information about their search for replacements for Knapp, Pollack, special teams coordinator Steve Hoffman and linebackers coach Johnny Holland.
All four were fired the day after the Raiders completed a 4-12 season, their 10th straight season without a winning record.
Martz last worked in the league as the Chicago Bears offensive coordinator in 2011. He was fired after a two-year stint. He was the 49ers offensive coordinator in 2008 and served in the same capacity for the Detroit Lions in 2006-07.
Raiders coach Dennis Allen said in his year-end news conference that he isn’t in a hurry to find an offensive coordinator.
“I don’t have a time frame for getting somebody in,” Allen said. “I want to make sure we get the right guy, and however long that takes for us to get the right guy, that’s how long that that takes.”
Allen also said he isn’t averse to working with an offensive coordinator that has experience as a head coach. Martz coached the Rams from 2000-05 and solidified his reputation as a guy that can get the most out of his offense.
“I’ll be comfortable with a guy I feel like gives us the best chance to be successful in all areas,” Allen said.
Under Knapp this season, the Raiders struggled establishing a consistent running attack and scoring points.
Pollack and Knapp came under fire for their implementation of the zone-blocking scheme upon their arrival last offseason.
Castillo was the Eagles offensive line coach for 13 seasons before then-coach Andy Reid promoted him to defensive coordinator before the 2011 season. The move backfired and resulted in the Eagles firing Castillo in October of this season.
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