Friday, January 26, 2007

Help Wanted: Coaching Staff

Al Davis went off on the mediots after the press conference announcing the hiring of Lane Kiffin as coach (see the comments section of the previous stick for more info).

The best thing about the Kiffin hire is that it was done expediently. The last search drew out longer than a nonsensical Norv Turner soliloquy on how his team was "competitive". Art Shell was handcuffed by having to pick threw leftovers to round out his staff. Many of his picks were either old and in the way (Walsh) or first time coaches (Slater and Eatman). Blessedly, this will not be the case this time...

After the press conference, Kiffin took a jet Al had chartered to head to the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama. As the team with the worst record in the NFL, the opportunity for the Raiders was there to coach the Sr. Bowl squad and get a first hand evaluation of the talent. However, without a coaching staff in place, this opportunity passed them by...

It seems likely Kiffin is there to find a staff more so than to evaluate college prospects. The Senior Bowl is also an annual gathering place for coaches to meet and discuss prospective job offers.

I hope Al Davis is willing to throw the checkbook at the best coaches available this time. The entire offensive coaching staff needs to be fired pronto (with the possible exception of Freddie B., who will have a spot with the Raiders for life, even if it is in a non-coaching capacity like the one Jim Otto holds). In fact, a sure sign that Kiffen has the autonomy to do as he wills with his staff would be to see Biletnikoff relegated to a non-WR Coach position like being in charge of "squad development".

The most important hire for Kiffin is the offensive line coach. Without a solid line, it does not matter what scheme he implements or what QB the Raiders draft. All will fail. I hope the checkbook is thrown at someone like Alex Gibbs, a former Raider O-line Coach who developed Wiz with the Raiders of LA.

I know it sounds a bit sacrilegious seeing as how Gibbs gave the Doncos their cutblock schemes, but I truly believe Gallery, Grove, et al. are not power linemen suited for a man scheme. The current Raider linemen seem more suited to zone blocking than brute force. As a bonus, Al Davis could twist the knife in Shanarat by hiring Gibbs. With the coaching changes in Atlanta, Gibbs is available as a Consultant, but he is not cheap... Here is Gibbs' bio.

A Gibbs protégé, Tom Cable, is rumored to be a target as well. Cable has helped Gibbs make the Falcons into the NFL's top running team. Here is Cable's bio.

With the departure of Nick Saban, Dolphins O-line guru Hudson Houck may be a possibility. Houck coached current Raider Co-Oline coach, Jackie Slater, so the connection could be made... Houck is also a former USC player and O-line Coach, which might open the doors for him with Kiffin.

Houck made the Dallas Cowboys what they were in the '90s and I am impressed by what Houck did to resurrect the San Diego Charger O-line, basically a bunch of nobodies, into a helluva blocking machine for LaDanian Thomlinson. If anyone can take a collective group of turnstiles, weathervanes, and windmills (e.g., the current Raider linemen) and turn them into something, it's Houck. Here is Houck's bio.

My vote is for Houck.

Then next most important hire is the Offensive Coordinator. Since Kiffin will call his own plays, the real issue here is to get the Tom Walsh taste out of everyone's mouth as soon as possible.

Yet another Falcons coach, Greg Knapp, is one candidate. Knapp is a West Coast Offense disciple, so his hire would be another strong indicator that Kiffin has some juice. Of note, Knapp was in the LA Raiders training camp as a QB in '87-'90, but never made the roster, so he is familiar with the organization.

Another consideration at OC is Marc Trestman. Trestman elevated Gruden's conservative offense to perhaps the most go-for-the-throat offense the Raiders have seen since Tom Flores' days as HC. Trestman fits the bill Al Davis is looking for; as Al said at the press conference, the reason he hired Kiffin is he wants a coach who will ATTACK! Hiring Trestman would be an indicator that Al is calling the shots, as would bringing in current Charger WR Coach James Lofton as OC.

Steve Sarkisian, Kiffin's Co-Offensive Coordinator is another possibility at OC, having been joined at the hip with Kiffin at USC. Sarkisian was the Raiders' QB Coach in 2004. He has stated his interest in remaining with the Trojans, but anything is possible...

My vote is for Trestman.

The last position at the top of my list is QB Coach. Many Raider fans are clamoring for Rich Gannon to return in a coaching capacity. Word is he did work with Andrew Walter last offseason. One day Rich will return, with my blessing, but this does not seem to be that day.

Al Davis is rumored to have been interested in Patriots QB Coach/ Offensive Coordinator Josh McDaniels, who has been involved in the development of Tom Brady, the Tucker... It seems doubtful McDaniels would leave the Patsies for anything less than a HC opportunity, but Belichick and Al Davis are friends and we know the two talk as Rob Ryan came from Belichick. Here is McDaniels' bio.

Ken Zampeze (son of Ernie) did wonders developing Carson Palmer in Cincinnati. Like Palmer, indications are the Raiders will make JaMarcus Russell a #1 overall pick. Zampeze even made Jon Kitna look like an NFL QB - a miracle in itself. Zampeze might have to be offered one of those bogus titles like "Assistant Head Coach" to make the move to Oakland, as he is under contract. As evidenced by the hiring of Lane Kiffen (son of Monte), Al Davis likes football families. Ernie Zampese was an integral part of the Chargers Air-Coryell offense and me thinks his son has soaked up some his pop's knowledge about getting QBs and WRs on the same page. Here is Zampeze's bio.

Unless Kiffin could somehow defy the laws of gravity and get former USC coach Norm Chow to come on board with the Raiders, my vote is for Zampeze.

Methinks coaches will be added to the staff early next week. Your sticks on who they will be are welcome, as always.

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Blogger Calico Jack said...

Is this photo pre or post loaf pinch? My vote would be for Tom Cable as O-line coach. I like that he is young (42), was mentored by Gibbs, has been a HC (Idaho), O-line Coach (Atl, UCLA, Cal) and OC (UCLA). My other vote would be for Knapp over Trestman. I have nothing against Trestman who I think would be a capable rehire as OC. However, I think with the hiring of Kiffin, that new blood that he chooses would dawn a new era.
Best Regards,
Calico Jack
P.S. - I just got through watching Musa The Warrior. I'm a sucker for Zhang Ziyi!

January 26, 2007 8:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think Houck is a good fit for the Raiders. He teaches the power blocking sheme and our line failed at that. We should bring in someone that teaches more zones.

January 27, 2007 8:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I vote for Cable and will keep my fingers crossed that Alex Gibbs will come on board as a consultant. I don think it would take a miracle to transform this line, only solid coaching. So lets keep our fingers crossed.

January 27, 2007 11:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How can you rip the media and then use things they uncovered in your articles, like Tom Cable being offered the offensive line position, saying Marc Trestman inteviewed for offensive coordinator, etc.? And then you can't even spell the new coach's name correctly? It's Kiffin, Clown. Ever heard of spellcheck? Go back to school, Clown-Ass.

January 27, 2007 12:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


January 27, 2007 3:26 PM  
Blogger PantyRaider said...

Good analisysssss....

Would someone please flush "Dumper"....the smell of that "AnnoAss" is discusting...


January 27, 2007 3:42 PM  
Blogger Tim Mo said...

Kiffen = Kiffin

January 27, 2007 4:22 PM  
Blogger Stick'em said...

Dear Anon 12:55 pm ~

I have been to school - graduate school - so you could call me "Dr. Stick'em" and be accurate about it if it makes you happy to do so.

I don't really give a rat's a$$ 'cause this is not relevant to football talk and it doesn't matter to me whether people call me "Dr." or not.

You also can call me "Clown-Ass" if it makes you feel like more of a real man. This doesn't bother me in the slightest, as my feeling of self worth is in no way dependent upon your uninformed opinion.

I know who I am and you don't; hence, your knee-jerk judgement is completely irrelevant.

Just for kicks, watch me spell supercalifragilisticexpialidocious
without even using the spell checker...

Isn't that impressive! I get a lot of chicks that way, ya know. Just lay a couple of polysyllabic verbiages on 'em and the panties come right off, baby!

In case any of that didn't sink in to whatever vestige of a cerebral cortex you have left to offer, "Kiffen" admittedly is a typo. So what?

What makes you feel the safety of the entire free world hinges upon the difference between an "e" and and an "i"? Just wondering where your insecurity comes from, anonymous...

January 27, 2007 5:57 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Dr. Stick'Em - Shame on you for having a typo on your weblog. The western civilization is crumbling as we speak. It is funny because didn't our vocabulary challenged anonymous friend refer to you as "Clown-Ass" vice "Ass-Clown"? If so, shouldn't our anonymous friend use his favorite tool, spell check next time he imparts us with his worldly, insightful opinion? Oh I almost forgot... spell check is useless for slang & surnames and who really gives a $hit anway besides insecure punks trolling the net to spew their irrelevant jibberish. ;)

January 27, 2007 9:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What what an intelligent guy ripping on you for spelling Kiffin wrong. He probably just doesn't get it that there are two laws in play here. 1. The media completely deserves to be ripped on. They will get a story right once in a blue moon though. 2. Kiffin is a proper noun and isn't in spell check. But good luck with that.

January 27, 2007 11:06 PM  
Blogger PantyRaider said...

In my Professional Opinion this "AnnoAss" is in need of a Good Old Fashioned Disciplinary Action and I would like nothing better than to have an opportunity to carry it out....therefore I make respectful request for any information which would assist me in my endeavor such as the "Punk"s IP Address and a name/location...etc..etc...etc...

I will be out of the country for the next 4 months but will be looking for an opportunity to release stored up energy upon my return in May....just a little something to "Kick0ff" the new season...

I would even pay for the info...say a few "Rubies"..."Sapphires"...I even have some very nice "Blue" Diamonds...the following is my e-mail so the info does not need to be posted here....Ny un-Traceable...

Whoops, I made a Type-0...I keyed 0 instead of O...been doing that for Sooooo long and da Dumbo never noticed...Ha! Ha! Ha!


January 27, 2007 11:11 PM  
Blogger Stick'em said...

Panty ~

While your enthusiasm never ceases to fill me with adrenalin, 'tis time to call off the dogs... so don't get yer, ah... panties in a wad over school yard stuff, bro.

I may just start callin' our new Head Coach "Night Train Lane", since I know how to spell that!

Much thanks for your loyalty and email me the details of your planned four month tour of pillagin' and lootin' abroad. I hope they hide their women and horses when they hear yer comin'!

Always smiling,
~ Stick'em

January 28, 2007 7:26 AM  
Blogger PantyRaider said...

This may be very hard to believe but some of the woman in Cambodia actually offer their cute young daughters to me as Wives...Very had to reject...I am also "Smilin"...can't wipe it off my face...but I haven't seen a "Horse" there yet...but they do have "Buffalo" to work the fields...

I will gladly send pictures and video...and a Video-n-TV producer in SanLuisObispo is planning on using some of my footage for his programing....he wants to see me "HanginOut" with the Gem "Smugglers"...

I will keep an eye on the Raider's moves wherever I am...but the "15" hours difference in "TimeZone" will make me "Behind-da-8-ball"...late so to speak...

The Raidah's are "International" and my friends love our "Logo"s so I spread it around...we now have several "Scull" warring "Bro"s in Thailand-n-Cambodia even if they don't understand our game....and I do my best to "Defame" da "Donky"s-n-40Winners...a must do pursuit...

I even get to teach them "New" sports besides "Fizzzzby" is becomming popular so this time I am taken "7" with me to share...and 2 training Videos...last year I taught them "VolleyBall" and they love it...and "BadMitten" for the girls and kidds...Soooo much fun...but NOTHIN is as good as "RaiderFootBall" so now is a period of "WithDrawl"s....


January 29, 2007 1:54 AM  

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