Oakland Raiders must hire offensive coordinator soon

By Josh Walfish
Jason O. Watson- USA TODAY Sports

It’s been more than three weeks since the Oakland Raiders fired offensive coordinator Greg Knapp and the search for his replacement is still ongoing. As NFL teams continue to fill out their staffs it is becoming imperative Oakland finds an offensive coordinator sooner rather than later.

The Raiders have done a great job at keeping their search out of the media coverage, but the search must come to an end soon. Pretty soon all the quality candidates will either accept a head coach job or will join another team’s staff. It would also be helpful for Oakland to fill out their coaching staff as college all-star games and pro days start to occur. If the Raiders do decide to change their offensive style they must find the talent to fit the new scheme and having a coaching staff in place would help to focus the scouting process.

Oakland already has an excellent candidate in-house with senior offensive assistant Al Saunders. He has been a coach in the league since 1983 which included a three-year stint as the coach of the San Diego Chargers in the mid-80s. Saunders has a lot of familiarity with the AFC West and is one of the best offensive mind in the game. He was the team’s coordinator under coach Hue Jackson and led the Raiders to the 16th-best scoring offense in the NFL. Oakland ran the ball for nearly 132 yards per game under Saunders almost 50 yards more than this year’s squad did under Knapp.

Although Saunders is a capable candidate he does not have to be the answer. However, whoever will be coaching the offense in 2013 better be found quickly so the Raiders’ offense does not have to suffer through another terrible season.

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