Report: Raiders hire Pollack as OL coach

February 1, 2012, 11:39 pm
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New Raiders coach Dennis Allen's staff is taking shape.Hours after the team officially announced Greg Knapp's return to Oakland as offensive coordinator, reported one of Knapp's running mates in Houston would be joining him with the Raiders.Frank Pollack, the Texans' assistant offensive line coach since 2007, will be the Raiders' new offensive line coach, according to the report. He will replace Bob Wylie, who dramatically improved the play of the line in his lone season with the Raiders as they gave up just 25 sacks, which was tied for third-fewest in the NFL.The Raiders have not confirmed the hiring and the Texans were unaware of it.
In Houston, Pollack worked primarily with the tackles. Which may, or may not, give renewed life to the fate of assistant offensive line coach Steve Wisniewski, a former star Raiders guard who is also the uncle of left guard Stephen Wisniewski, who starred as a rookie last season.The arrival of Pollack, meanwhile, probably means a return to a zone-blocking scheme as Pollack has coached nothing but the philosophy in the NFL with Houston. Under Wylie, the Raiders were a power-blocking team.Pollack was a sixth-round draft choice of the 49ers in 1990 out of Northern Arizona and was a member of their 1994 Super Bowl championship team.Meanwhile, running backs coach Kelly Skipper has reportedly been retained, though the Raiders have not confirmed it. He represents some form of offensive continuity in that he has served in that capacity for Oakland the past three seasons after working as the tight ends coach the previous two years.Also, the Raiders are making changes in their strength and conditioning program as Al Miller will serve as strength and conditioning coach, replacing Brad Roll, and John Grieco will be his assistant. Miller, who last worked in the NFL in 2005, has worked with Denver (1985-92), the New York Giants (1993-96) and with Allen in Atlanta (1997-05). Allen interviewed with John Elway last week. Grieco worked the past two years at Louisiana-Monroe and the previous four at UNLV. Roll had been with the Raiders since 2008.And after being denied permission by Denver to interview linebackers coach Richard Smith for the vacant defensive coordinator position, Allen was also denied permission by Dallas to interview special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis, according to ESPN, as well as New Orleans defensive line coach Bill Johnson.