Thursday, December 29, 2005

Next Raiders Coach Revisited

Two weeks ago, I identified Pat Hill, head coach of the Fresno State Bulldogs, as a candidate to take the helm of the Oakland Raiders next year. A few readers promptly wrote to call me an idiot. Here’s a verbatim sampling: “Pat Hill coach of the Raiders? C’mon! Why not the local high school coach?...That’s why you’re the only person that brought up his name.”

I’d like to think that I was the first person to bring up Pat Hill’s name. Regardless, I’m not the last. In last week's edition of Sports Illustrated, Peter King ranks Pat Hill third in a list of “top 10 candidates for what should be between six and 10 vacancies” in the NFL after the 2005 season. He summarizes Hill as follows: “Former Bill Belichick assistant in Cleveland who has built an offensive powerhouse.”

Nancy Gay of the San Francisco Chronicle followed this week with an article entitled: “If Turner’s gone, who’s the next coach?” In it, she names Hill among the potential candidates: “Pat Hill, a former NFL offensive assistant in Baltimore and Cleveland who has been a huge success at Fresno State the past nine seasons, is certain to be considered. Then again, with so many potential NFL openings, Hill may be a top candidate for other franchises, ones that will offer more salary and endorsement riches.”

As before, I’m not saying that Pat Hill should be the next coach of the Raiders, just that he merits consideration.

Your Humble Idiot


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was watching "Coachspeak" on the NFL Network the other day, and Jim Mora also stated that Hill is a leading possible canidate. But Mora also stated- and this shocked me- that Turner should be given one more season. He backed it up stating because it would be a shame to lose Coach Ryan- which I now agree with.

I heard on SportsCenter today aswell that the Ravens Org. has stated that Bilichick will be there next year. And I can't imagine H. Edwards will let go from NY Jets. Which sucks for Oakland, because I think he's a perfect fit.

P.S. - Your not an idiot, you make alot of great statements. It's just fustrating to watch the Raiders struggle constantly.

1:44 AM  
Blogger Doobie said...

I'd actually like to see Rob Ryan be given a chance at the head coach position. He's shown some promise with this defense and he has a strong pedigree with his dad being Buddy (although admittedly a pedigree didn't help David Shula). Some say he's not ready for a head coaching position but I'm sure how many said that about Gruden in 1998.

But as I've stated before, I don't recall the last time Al's hired someone with defensive expertise to be a head coach (anyone remember Mike White's position before being hired?) so, simply by examining trends, I don't forsee Al going in that direction.

So it'll probably be another offensive minded coach, toadie preferred. I don't know much about Pat Hill's personality, but his specialty is offense, so he does have a chance. That and the Browns/Ravens offense in the early nineties wasn't all that bad. In fact the '96 Ravens (assuming Hill was coaching on that team) was ranked #6 in the league in points and #2 in yards. That and they got that production out of a retread QB (sound familiar?) in Testaverde.

5:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think your on the money as i am a big raiders fan.I am a big fresno state fan and pat hill has made bulldoggs a very good team over the last nine years and would be a great pick for the raiders coach

7:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nine of the last 22 SB's have been won by Bill Walsh or his decendants, and that's not counting Brian Billick who's one step removed having worked for Dennis Green but not Walsh directly. Andy Reid is also a branch of this tree as I believe is Tony Dungy. The next plentiful coaching tree? Not Jimmy Johnson. Even though he got three, his legacy reads like a who's who of coaching nightmares--Butch Davis, Dave Wannstedt and Norv [yikes]. It appears to be Bill Belichick, although the jury is still somewhat out, but most like what they see in South Bend and Cleveland. Some branch of this tree plying his trade in Alameda would be a welcome sight, including Pat Hill, although he branched off early on...

11:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

At this point, I would even take Benny Hill as Head Coach. Maybe he can play QB as well. Would be an improvment.

11:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey lk, don't forget that Belichick himself is a branch of Parcells' tree, Weis and Crennel were assistants with Belichick under the Big Tuna!...

1:26 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

I heard that Benny Hill apprenticed with Vince Lombardi.

I'll certainly take a branch from the Belichik-Parcells tree over one from the Turner-Wannestedt tree, which has produced some pretty nasty fruit.

Thanks to all for the great comments...A lot of food for thought here, as well as a couple of good laughs.

2:11 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Maurice Carthon is an excellent head coach candidate for the Raiders. He has played for Parcells (Giants), coached for Parcells (Pats, Jets, Cowboys), been on the same staff as Belichik and currently is working for Romeo Crennel. Maurice is young (44), offensive minded to appease Al, has won 2 superbowls as a player, and has an impeccable pedigree. Almost too good to be true.

2:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm all for Maurice Carthon as the next Coach, but I'm more concerned with who will be the Qb. The Raiders have not had a championship caliber QB since Jim Plunkett. That was long ago. Gannon came close, but no cigar. I just keep thinking, what if the Raiders had drafted Tom Brady. On New England, Brady has already won 3 Super Bowls. On the Raiders, it's quite possible he would not even have played in one game yet. We all know what happened to Tui. Will Andrew Walters be required to sit for half his career ? What if the Raiders draft Matt Linehart, will they ever put him in a game ? A good Qb can make a coach look alot smarter. Look at Shanahan with Elway, & without.

6:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've watch a few Fresno State game and he's done a great job there. Whoever said you were an idiot just hasn't done thier research.

6:40 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Thanks for the kind words, Anonymous (both of you!).

So much for the "if" Turner is fired question that we keep hearing in the media. Not a single person has come in here to defend him.

It's astonishing how unqualified Norv Turner has become...It's like meeting a police chief who can't operate a firearm or a radio. You know he didn't get the job by accident, yet you have to wonder what the hell happened to the guy, when he can't even perform the most basic functions in the job description.

6:59 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

RT - Your blog entries & comments are always insightful and interesting. Keep up the good work! It's too bad you couldn't be a paid consultant for Al.

Raider00 - The success (or failure) of any NFL team can be largely attributed to having a head coach with leadership skills and the performance of the starting QB.

Unfortunately, it looks like the market for available QB's is pretty thin. Will Al be able to pull off a creative trade for a veteran #1 QB? At this point, I would be satisfied with a QB who can at least manage the game, avoid unnecessary sacks, be able to audible out of bad plays, and minimize turnovers. Even QB's like Griese & Kittna would be a serious upgrade over our current signal-caller.

8:35 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Thank you Calico Jack. I should call myself an idiot more often, considering the kind words I've received today! The feelings are mutual, I appreciate your insights and analysis.

9:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Calico J. I enjoy your comments on the Raiders as well. We just might have our Qb of the future on the roster in Andrew Walters. My fear is he will never get a real chance to play, & learn. It's a kiss of death being a young Qb on the Raiders. Just ask Tui who, unfortunately, we will not find out about until he is on another team.

9:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dude, Pat Hill would be a DREAM COACH!!!! He is perfect for the Raiders!

Couple that with either Dante Culpeper, Or Farve, or as a last resort Kitna and you have a good possibility.

Your article has gotten me on a positive note my friend.

Hopefully Al Davis can see it as well and then get Pat (while you can still get him cheap at this point)because this man WILL be coaching an NFL team and soon.

I only hope we don't later lament not getting him. like I and many Raider fans lament not getting Shawn Alexander instead of Jani-BREWSKI.

Great Choice my friend!!!

Raider National, Charles

1:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's nice to talk about possible head coaches and all but the problem remains the owner. Until he chages his ways look forward to the same old crap and the demise of what was once a proud organization. If he wasn't happy with winning grudens way,what will make him happy? Winning apparently isn't enough,it's his way or the highway,pathetic!

5:43 AM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

I would be thrilled if the Raiders hired either Maurice Carthon or Pat Hill.

On 1/1/06 Turner needs to be relieved of his duties so Al can get the recruiting/selection/ hiring process of the new head coach rolling.

It is imperative to have the new head coach on board sooner rather than later when you consider the the demands of being a new head coach in the NFL; (hiring of new coaching staff, roster evaluation, the draft, the free agent market, intalling new systems, training camp, etc.)

7:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Everybody who cares about winning seems to agree the coach next season should be ABNorval (Anybody But Norv). I have not a thing against Pat Hill and agree he has done an admirable job at Fresno St., but I can't remember Al ever hiring a coach out of the college ranks...could it happen?

Other 'could it actually happen?' possibilities include Art Shell and Mike Singletary from across the bay. Shell's got the same 59% winning rate as Jon Gruden and his loyalty is unquestioned.

Doubtful Al would hire a defensive-minded HC, but I'd love to see Singletary's eyes bugging out on the sidelines when Kerry Collins acts like he's nonchalantly shopping for Vivarin at the Quicky Mart, instead of marching the team down the field with some urgency!

BTW, for everyone lamenting Shaun Alexander instead of Janibrewski, keep in mind that Alexander was the 19th pick of the first round in '00. That means most of the teams in the NFL passed on him too, including the stoopid Giants who picked up Ron Dayne.

Yep, Janibrewski was a knee-jerk reaction to the kicking game problems at the time. We all said "WTF just happened?!" on draft day, but please give the hindsight platitudes a rest.

Shane Lechler was taken that year and he turned out to be the next Ray Guy. I would be satisfied if we had nabbed Shane in the first round and Seabass in the fifth, so what's the difference?

12:21 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

When speculating about possible HC candidates for the Raiders, it interesting how it becomes a process of elmination.

As Stick' Em points out, has Al ever hired a HC straight from the college ranks? No. Has Al ever hired a defensive minded HC? No.

Another prominent eliminator is the salary of potential candidates. It is hard to envision Al forking out a fair market contract to a HC who is already being highly compensated by his current employer (ie. Saban at LSU being hired away by Miami).

Al's history of hiring tends to fall into 3 categories;
1. Retreads/NFL coaching salty dogs (White, Bugel, Turner)
2. Promotions (Madden, Flores, Shell, Callahan)
3. Diamonds in the rough (Shanahan, Gruden).

Based on Al's hiring practices the past 30+ years it looks like the HC pool shrinks down considerably. If you toss out category 1 (who wants another washed up retread?)it boils down to Rob Ryan, Art Shell, and a diamond in the rough, mystery candidate. You can eliminate Rob Ryan since he comes from the defensive side of the ball. Now you are left with Al Shell or a HC candidate who isn't being mentioned by the mainstream media.

Will Al break his pattern to hire Pat Hill or Maurice Carthon? Is there another diamond in the rough that will be a bold stroke of genius to hire? Or will Al go to the safest choice, Art Shell?

This next HC decision is paramount to the success (or failure) of the Raiders.

6:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Radiers need a QB coach or a proven builder of QB's. Three come to mind. Jim Fassel, Steve Mariucci and Marc Trestman. The offense looked awful vs the Chargers and needs to be overhauled. Receivers need to be developed and line needs to protect. Defense has guys playing hard. Offense needs an identity and a proven system. Trestman has had success everywhere hes ever been and now has head coaching experience. Fassel has also been very succesful. Both guys have worked with top notch QB's and have proven track records. Raiders can win with either.

Uninterested observer

7:17 AM  

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