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Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Cable Hired In Oakland; KC Hire Soon

With the Panthers still without defensive assistants, the staff of the Oakland Raiders looks ready to shape up - they've officially hired former OL coach Tom Cable. Cable's a guy I wanted here when we had our opening on the OL, and I wish him the best. With him onboard finally, the expectation is that their remaining staff will fill out a bit more, which may include DC John Marshall and LBs coach Mike Haluchak.

Haluchak, who Darin Gantt confirmed as a LBs coach candidate, has history with John Fox and may be his top candidate for the position. Tim Krumrie (DL, Pete Carroll's nemesis) is still under contract with Kansas City, but they're about to hire a new head coach as well and that may impact his decision to stay (or to be kept). These are the top two guys available, in my opinion, but there are others available as well:
Jim Haslett (LBs), Rick Venturi (LBs or DBs, and close ties to Haslett), Keith Millard (DL), Johnny Lynn (DBs), Brett Maxie (DBs). None of these have been claimed yet, and I'd take any of them.

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There's idle speculation about former players coming in to help out - Brentson Buckner (DL), Mike Minter (DBs). I honestly haven't heard Mike Rucker's name which is actually concerning - while Buck was a natural leader and helped young guys like Rucker and Julius Peppers in their habits and tape study (and kept Kris Jenkins in line), Rucker was probably the most cerebral football player the team's ever had. He always had his technique on point, he never got fooled, he was always ready. You could tell this year, when you saw our new ends break contain, that Mike Rucker never did. Remember the playoff game in St. Louis, where Rucker flattened Marshall Faulk coming out of the backfield on a three-man line, which forced a sack? That's awareness that saves 40-yard plays. Rucker would be as good a coach as any player since Sam Mills, and certainly better than Kevin Greene (recently hired to coach OLBs under Dom Capers' 3-4 in Green Bay).

But the stark reality is that while any of the above could get in (if nothing else, on minority internships, though they don't need it in Carolina), I seriously doubt any would. They have lucrative careers, careers that let them spend time with family and travel instead of spending 14 hour days on football. Why do you think you see fifty coaches on ESPN right now? It's easier money.
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