Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Ken Whisenhunt Beware!

Instead of consulting What Color is My Parachute for career advice, Ken Whisenhunt can just read the local paper. Suddenly, everyone is worried for him. He’s going to interview with the Raiders! Doesn’t he know what he’s getting into? Pittsburgh is the happiest place on earth!

A lot is being made of the fact that turnover is rare at the head coaching position for the Steelers. That's all very warm and fuzzy. But is it really great news for a driven, ambitious coordinator on that team? At this rate, what are the chances that Ken Whisenhunt will inherit the helm from Bill Cowher in the next five years? Slim to none.

This whole Holmgren-Allen/Cowher-Rooney media lovefest is predictably being exploited as a finger-pointing device against the Oakland Raiders. Stability! Consistency! Oh, if only Al Davis would learn the ways of Paul Allen and Dan Rooney. Last I checked, over the last five years, the Raiders and the Seahawks have both lost one Super Bowl. But, of course, the Seahawks are a model franchise and the Raiders are a disaster (let the Seahawks play the Chargers, Chiefs and Broncos twice each year and get back to me). In the new post-XL media reality, firing an ineffective coach is heretical. All Steve Mariucci, Dom Capers and Mike Mularkey needed was another 10 or 12 years, and they would have made the playoffs, too.

The last time a driven, ambitious young coordinator came to Oakland from the outside, he made out pretty well, didn’t he? He helped revitalize the team, then parlayed his success into a sweet deal in Tampa Bay, and established himself as an elite head coach who won’t have to look too hard for work for the rest of his life.
What a raw deal for Jon Gruden. Ken Whisenhunt beware!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Whisenhunt sets foot on Raiders soil, he's ours. He and Al will take turns impressing each other at the chalk board and he'll leave HQ with the leather jacket and the parking space out front. Only way he doesn't take the job is if someone talks him out of it before he gets on the plane...

12:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

...and we already have our ex-college QB turned WR (ala Randel El and Ward) that Whisenhunt can continue to use in Ronald Curry.

1:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree RT. Any coach who is scared of the Raiders, and would rather coach, Detroit, Buffalo, Houston, or Minnesota, well, I don't want that guy anywhere near the Raiders. We need people who can stand the pressure, and take the heat. Case in point: Sean Payton. Got scared of the Raiders job, and ended up coaching the God awful Saints.....He's a loser, and I'm glad we didn't get stuck with him.

6:12 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Great post Raider Take. Bravo!

If a HC candidate is worried about job security than he shouldn't throw his hat in the ring in the first place.

If a HC candidate doesn't have the cajones to sit down with Al, he has no place in a cut-throat hyper-competive industry.

If Whiz has what it takes and has the fire in his belly to overcome challenges, he will truly relish the OPPORTUNITY to lead a proud franchise and make history.

Thinik about it . . . Even bums like Bugel, White, Callahan, and Turner bounced back very quickly and secured gainful employment. In Turner's case, what it take 10 days to land an OC spot?

With the media pounding the Raiders as such a bad destination and the Raiders coming off 3 poor seasons, if anything this is a dream job with very little downside for a few simple reasons;
1) The HC should be able to exceed the expectations of all the naysayers and mediot "experts".
2) There is a solid talent base
3) The owner will aggressively persue the missing pieces
4) You have a relatively easy schedule and a #6 pick
5) If you win you are a hero
6) If you lose it is the owner's fault and you quickly get back on the coaching fraternity carousol.

At this point only Whiz knows in his heart if the Silver and Black glass is half full or half empty for him.

I was happy to read that Shell was interviewed late last week. If Whiz isn't "the man" than at the very least HOF Shell should be able to take the reins and turn the ship around quickly with his commanding respect and presence and inter-working knowledge of the S&B organization. I for one take great comfort in knowing that Big Man Shell is the "fall-back" HC Candidate as opposed to Jim Fassell.

8:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now that Dick Jauron is looking to take "Shoop" to the Bills we can all rest easy. As for Shell, I think his days as a HC have passed and he would be better as a GM. Lets keep our eyes on the prize......Whisenhunt. He will do great things here............We have a team that needs very little to make it to the playoffs.

8:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I feel really bad about this since Art Shell interviewed before Whisenhunt. I like Art Shell alot, a great player, classy coach, and an all around great guy. I feel bad mostly because I think the Raiders need to go with Whisenhunt.

It would hurt me to have to say to Art "we're going with ken, Art". I wish there was some way we can have them both.

10:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

RT, You should have warned Whisenhunt before he got off the plane:


Now it's too late. Ken and his parachute may be sucked down into the eternal torment that is being HC of the Raiders.

Who in their right mind would want to end in up Hades where Madden, Flores, Gruden, Shell, and even Shanirat have been?

Let's see...all those former Raider coaches won a Super Bowl in their careers (albeit Shell as a player, but his current NFL VP job isn't a bad gig either).

5:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, Whiz got on the plane and Jim Colletto is gone. Wonder if that means we get Whiz and Big Art? That would be too good. BTW, anonymous 1:24, Jerry Porter played QB also....lotsa offense in the East Bay

6:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

nyraider--JP played QB, then safety, then WR at WVU

7:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let me first state I think Cowher is a fine coach and I have nothing against him. But the fact is if he would have followed his 6-10 record 3 years ago with another lousy year he was gone from the Steelers. Why has he been the head coach for 14 years? Because for the most part he has won consistently. So how is that philosophy different than the Raiders philosophy. The reason why the Raiders have had so many coaching changes since Cowher started at Pittsburgh is because by and large the team hasn't won. Shell was probably a premature fire (and Al admits that) but the only other successful coach we have had was Gruden and he chose to leave. He wasn't fired.

And it's ridiculous to tout the Steelers philosophy of patience and stability as a model of success. Did anyone notice that the Raiders with all their instability have won 2 Super bowls since the previous Steeler championship. Until Sunday the Steelers were 25+ years removed from their previous SB win. And until Sunday the Raiders with all their instability had appeared in as many Super Bowls as the Steelers had during the Cowher era (1 each).

Do I envy the Steelers and their stability. Yes. But not because they have had only 2 coaches in the past 30 years. but because they were able to find 2 coaches that were for the most part successful enough to warrant being around. I long for the days of Madden/Flores stability which was driven by success. But until we find the right coach that is successful enough to keep I'm more than happy to reamin unstable. Another year of Turner (or Bugel or Callahan) for the sake of stability would not be good for my heart.

7:56 AM  
Blogger Doobie said...

Calico: Fantastic points. Exactly the reasoning for why someone should want to coach in Oakland. If you think about it, working for Al isn't that much different than working for Steinbrenner. When Torre is gone, prospective coaches will be falling all over themselves to get the Yankees job. Sure, he's a meddler, but he runs the most successful franchise in baseball history and he strives to put the best team on the field year after year.

Harvey: Cowher's been around so long not only because of the Rooney's disinclination to change coaches (just two in 37 years), but also because of Cowher's ability to win despite losing more people to free agency than signing them. When you think about how many teams there are who consistently have bad drafts, the fact that the Steelers are able to succeed year after year relying mostly on their draft picks is a true testament to Cowher's knowledge. They've consistently drafted players, developed them, lost them to free agency, and then started anew. It makes you wonder how many MORE Super Bowls they would have won if they had just spent more money on the market.

9:25 AM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

lk - I love your dream scenario of Whiz hired as HC and Shell hired as OLC. That would be like hitting the Daily Double at Santa Anita Racetrack. Giddy-up.

11:00 AM  
Blogger Raider Raza said...

all you hear in the mainstream media is a bunch of crap about Al and the Raiders.
Don't believe everything you read out there.

1:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Really the afc west is the toughest division in the afc. Even though its the toughest we still compete and ocassionaly pull out the upset and ocasioally we get robbed. Get rid of Collins Find a stable veteran and get this kid walters ready for the whiz and the starting job We have all the pieces, except for a safety.

6:34 PM  
Blogger Doobie said...

On a completely separate and belated note, it was a shame to see two Raiders Super Bowl records fall on Sunday. Willie Parker scampered for 75 yards to best Marcus' 74 yard run in SB XVIII, and then shortly afterwards Kelly Herndon took that INT back for 76 yards to break Willie Brown's 75 yard return in SB XI.

It seemed almost like a combination punch...I was just starting to realize that Marcus' record had been broken when Herndon's interception occurred.

7:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

According to one of the more credible journalists out there, Whisenhunt is going to be talking again with Al tomorrow (Thursday):


You think Whisenhunt would throw a couple of passes every now and then on the tackle eligible play? Gallery started out as a TE in college...I can dream, d@mm!t!

OK, maybe not, but maybe at least Gallery would be playing LEFT tackle with a sane HC.

8:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't worry Doobie. Willie Brown still holds the more important record of longest INT returned for a TD.

9:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hear former NFL Tackle Irv Eatman may have recently been hired as a Raider coach, explaining in part why Jim Coletto is gone.

The kicker is Eatman and Whisenhunt (a TE) played together with the Jets back in '91-92...but then, Raider HCs don't get to pick their own staffs, now do they?

Just me adding 2+2 together and it may turn out to be = 5 in the end...but I don't think so.

9:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One could make the case that Al Davis simply loves Super Bowl MVPs (see Desmond Howard and Larry Brown) and at worst a Whisenhunt hiring is another sort of one-hit-wonder bandwagon leap.

At best, one could see the Steelers having the #5 rush offense in the NFL and Big Ben's quick development at QB being attributable to Whisenhunt's influence. Would it work with LaMont Jordan and Andrew Walter?...perhaps, but only with the right offensive line in place.

I'm not much on gadget plays, but at least it shows Whisenhunt is willing to try and utilize the skills of the players he has available instead of miscasting folks.

Let us count the ways Norv misused his players' potential:

1. Never threw the ball to the TE, especially in the red zone. TEs were just around to block KFC from getting blitzed.

2. Instead threw the ball every other down to the RB, though Jordan led the league in dropped passes.

3. Instead of using the best short yardage runner in the NFL, Zack Crockett, to establish the power running game, Zack was another designated blocker.

4. And designated blocker Robert Gallery played at RT, though Sims looked like a weathervane at times trying to cover KFC's backside.

5. You get the picture...

My big question on Whisenhunt is his sideline management. During every Steeler game I saw this season Whisenhunt was calling plays from up in a booth. I've never really seen him interacting with the players during game situations to get a feel for his personality.

I love Art Shell! But I wonder if Art is more valuable to Al Davis working inside the NFL exec. offices as VP than he might be as a coach? You know Gene Upshaw has to be keeping Al abreast of the issues going on with the current NFLPA negotiations.

It helps to have friends in high places.

8:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

stick 'em--you're right on all four and Norv also never spread the field as an offensive strategy--only did it in long yardage or when behind. Drove me insane...
You're right also that Whiz's game management is the big unknown, but I would give him the benefit of the doubt because Cowher is decent at it and plays to win instead of not to lose; goes for it on fourth and two from opponents 38 instead of punting, etc. I bet Whiz has picked that up, if it wasn't Cowher that got it from Whiz in the first place.

9:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Alrigggghhhhhtttt!!!!!! A COLD DAY IN HELL HAS COME AND NOT A SINGLE ONE OF YOU AL DAVIS APPLE POLISHERS AND ANTI-MEDIA PEOPLE HAS EVEN MENTIONED THIS ARTICLE TODAY BY CARL STEWARD. Yeah go ahead, don't be afraid to open it. it's not a virus or spyware that'll ruin your computer. It's just an article by one of the Bay Area's best who is basically convincing Whisenhunt to accept the Raider job IF it's offered to him. It'a an article that points out a lot of good things about the team and the Bay Area. This just goes to show that the media IS NOT at all what you think it is. Thing is, Davis is about to make a major and I mean major mistake if he hires or re-hires Shell, and we're back to square one. So enjoy the article my Raider friends.

9:40 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Thanks for the link, Scorpio. Good stuff.

For the record, we are not anti-media here, just anti bad journalism.

In fact, I have praised InsideBayArea.com twice over the past month for their mature and balanced coverage of the Raiders (see posts entitled Hell Freezes Over and Thanks from Raider Take)

10:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read it, thought it was a good piece. [BTW, making some of the points also seen in this space] Can I go back to blowing Al now?

12:46 PM  
Blogger Jason Culley said...

Did anybody see this yet? It says Whisenhut has withdrawn name as candidate for coaching job in Oakland.

Havne't verifed it yet with anything else, I just found it?


1:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

short piece, here's the text:

By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Ken Whisenhunt has withdrawn his name from consideration for the head coaching job of the Oakland Raiders, the Post-Gazette has learned.

Whisenhunt, the Steelers offensive coordinator, spent yesterday in Oakland discussing the job with Al Davis, the Raiders managing partner.

"After coming out here and taking a look, he decided to stay with the Steelers,'' said Eric Metz, Whisenhunt's agent. "To make a long story short, Eric Metz is flying back home to Arizona without an agreement and Ken Whisenhunt is going to stay with the Steelers, a job he loves.

"We came out here, had an enjoyable visit, met with Mr. Davis, and Ken likes and respects him.''

That's it. Hope this is similar to Mike Martz and Detroit--changed his mind once or twice before making a firm decision

1:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ESPN is reporting that Whisenhunt said "NO". I don't like the prospects if he really did.

1:24 PM  
Blogger TheFreakingPope said...

One thing goes without saying. Al Davis has handled the Whisenhunt discussions with the level of class that marks his tenure with our beloved Raiders. We, the Raider Nation, have waited patiently for Ken. If he ultimately decides to stay with the Steelers, I hope he will show us the same level of respect when he addresses the press.

1:30 PM  
Blogger Doobie said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's just hope it is Art and not Fassel, who reminds me of Norv, just without the personality and fire!

Doobie--killed me with the coffee/caps lock post

2:10 PM  
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