Right off the bat, let's get this out of the way. I can, with almost total certainty, let you know the Raiders will not be sold. People that have shared information with me that have inside knowledge of the organization say that the team will be going to Al's son, Mark, when Al is ready to give it to him and he's ready to take control. That's not to say another sale of some shares for the team won't happen to give the team some extra cash (i.e. what happened in October of 2007), with not option for ownership. For now, all signs point to the Raiders staying within the Davis family.
Next in the way of front office rumor is that Bill Parcells was coming to Oakland. That's not happening, either. He's staying in Miami. The problem the Raiders now have is who went through the 'Out' door, rather than who is not coming through the 'In' door. Rob Ryan, Tom Rathman and Greg Knapp all either out or on their way out. Ryan is rumored to be taking the defensive coordinator job in Cleveland with Eric Mangini, now that Ryan's contract is up on January 13th. Rathman has returned to the franchise he made a name with and has become running back's coach under Mike Singletary with the 49ers. Greg Knapp did as expected and has gone to Seattle to be with Jim Mora, Jr. as the Seahawks offensive coordinator. Raiders' special teams coordinator Brian Schneider also interviewed with Jacksonville on Wednesday and had another interivew set up with Seattle later this past week. With all that's gone on the past few (few, as in 6) seasons, you can hardly blame any of the coaching staff for leaving or wanting to. I'm not asking why coaches are leaving, as much as I am asking, "Who in their right mind is going to want to come to Oakland to coach and who are they going to get to fill the open positions on the coaching staff?"
Someone that my be coming back to Oakland may be John Madden. Rumors are floating around that since Matt Millen joined NBC's Football Night In America, that John Madden may retire from broadcasting and return to the Raiders in a front office role. When Madden signed on with NBC, he and NBC agreed to revisit his six year deal after the third year. Upon the conclusion of Super Bowl 43, the third year of Madden's deal will be up.
It also sounds like Tom Cable wants to return as the Raiders' head coach and had his official, sit down interview on Wednesday January 7th with Al Davis. Other than James Lofton and Brad Roll, Cable is the only other coach remaining from the 2008 staff that is still under contract. However, is Cable the man for the job? He definitely made a case for himself the last two games of the season. But, with all the vacancies in the coaching staff and what's gone on for the past six seasons, is this the time to make the change completely? Clean house entirely and take the opportunity to really change the direction of the franchise? Truthfully, I'm on the fence. The organization hasn't gotten anything right the past six seasons, but is a total change with more uncertainty for the players the right thing to do? On the flipside, is 5-12 a good enough record to keep the current coach around?
We've heard the rumors of Gilbride, Harbaugh and Fassel rumors, so let's get down to the nitty gritty. Ed Donatell is now in the running for the defensive coordinator job. Donatell worked for the University of Washington as defensive coordinator last year (not much in the way of a resume builder there). He also worked with Cable at the University of Idaho for two years and in with the Falcons in 2006. Hmmmmmmm. Is that an indication of where Oakland is leaning for their head coaching vacancy? They still have to interview one minority candidate, though, to comply with the "Rooney Rule." However, that may be taken care of with the team interviewing Winston Moss, the Packers current linebackers coach. Is this an interview to comply with the "Rooney Rule," a true interview or an inteview that could lead to Moss as the defensive coordinator? Former Raider, Lionel Washington, is also in the mix for the defensive backs coach spot. With all the uncertainty, rumors and names floating around, who know what will happen. Only time will tell b/c it's a tangled web that's always been woven out in Oakland.