It’s time. The Raiders chose only to fire head coach Hue Jackson outright, leaving the remaining staff members to wait until their contract was up. That day is today. As of tomorrow, they will officially no longer be under contract with the Raiders.
One coach has already left. Wide receivers coach Sanjay Lal left to take the same position with the New York Jets.
At this moment, all other coaches besides Jackson and Lal are still listed as part of the coaching staff. But tomorrow all that could change. This also means that if there are any coaches they actually might want to keep around, they will need to get busy on bringing in a new head coach so as to maintain said coaches.
New GM Reggie McKenzie has said that the new coach will be able to pick his own staff. However, it looks as if that new coach could very well come from the Packers’ staff. If the Packers go on a long playoff run, it will give every other team in the NFL a chance to sign away the Raiders’ coaches prior to that time.
Among those coaches who were reported last week as not being brought back are defensive coordinator Chuck Bresnahan, linebackers coach Greg Biekert, defensive backs coach Rod Woodson, and safeties coach Kevin Ross. This would leave defensive line coach Mike Waufle and assistant linebackers coach Ricky Hunley as the only remaining defensive staff. Willie Brown would also be retained but he doesn’t hold a defensive title. He is listed as “squad development.”
However, those reports came out when Hue Jackson was still the head coach. At that time it was thought that the only overhaul would be made on the defensive side of the ball.
Now, with Jackson out, the entire staff could get a housecleaning. The remaining offensive staff are offensive coordinator Al Saunders, offensive line coach Bob Wylie, assistant offensive line coach Steve Wisniewski, running backs coach Kelly Skipper, tight ends coach Adam Henry, special teams coach John Fassel, and strength and conditioning coach Brad Roll.
The offensive coaching staff did a fine job this past season but that may not matter much. McKenzie said he wants a “fresh start.” Hue Jackson’s firing was a bit of a surprise, and typically when a head coach is fired, his staff, regardless of how good they may be, goes as well.
The most valuable of the offensive coaches would be the line coaches, Bob Wylie and Steve Wisniewski. They did a masterful job with the Raiders’ offensive line. It was the best the Raiders’ line has looked since… well, since Steve Wisniewski was playing for the Raiders as opposed to coaching.
On the defensive side of the ball, Mike Waufle would be the most valuable of the bunch. However, it appears the Raiders could move to a 3-4 defense and if that happens, Waufle would likely move on to a team running the 4-3 defense to which he is accustomed.
As of tomorrow, we will begin getting some idea of who will be moving on, though we may not see a head coach until at least mid February and the final coaching staff may not be fully assembled until a while after that.