Earlier this week it was reported that several of the Raiders’ defensive coaching staff had been fired: defensive coordinator Chuck Bresnahan, linebackers coach Greg Biekert, defensive backs coach Rod Woodson, and safeties coach Kevin Ross.
The Raiders have since denied the report and have not officially announced any firings. But additional sources, according to Mike Silver of Yahoo Sports, have revealed that the staff has been informed of their release but will not be let go until their contracts expire on January 15.
Most teams in the NFL fire their coaches and staff immediately following the season or shortly thereafter. But it is common for the Raiders keep their coaches on staff until it is time to renew their contracts and then simply not renew them.
So though these coaches are technically still employed by the Raiders, it can be assumed they are on their way out, in a “lame duck” capacity as it were.
The ousting of Chuck Bresnahan was to be expected. The other coaches were less expected with some being entirely unexpected. However, it does make sense to do a housecleaning of the defensive staff so that whomever the Raiders hire to replace Bresnahan as defensive coordinator can bring in his own people. The job is more attractive when the defensive coach feels he has the authority to choose his staff.
This would leave just two defensive coaches still on staff—defensive line coach Mike Waufle and assistant linebackers coach Ricky Hunley. Willie Brown would also still be on staff per the report and though he works with the defensive backs, he does not hold a specific defensive title. He is listed as simply “squad development.”