Raiders get permission to interview Saunders

January 19, 2011, 11:36 pm
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ALAMEDA (AP) New OaklandRaiders coach Hue Jackson has started the process of putting togetherhis new staff, getting permission to talk to Baltimore assistant AlSaunders about filling the offensive coordinator vacancy.Ravens coach John Harbaugh saidTuesday that the team allowed Saunders to talk to the Raiders becausehe would never want to deny a coach an opportunity."We'll just have to see whathappens," Harbaugh said. "Obviously you never want to lose really goodcoaches. Al Saunders is a great coach and a great man. He's tremendousand he's been huge for us."Saunders has been an offensiveconsultant for Baltimore the past two seasons, working on the staffwith Jackson in 2009. Jackson went to Oakland last year as offensivecoordinator and was promoted to head coach in place of Tom Cableearlier this week.
RELATED: Al Davis states his case against Tom Cable
Jackson said Tuesday at hisintroductory news conference that he will remain the primaryplay-caller in Oakland as head coach. He mentioned Saunders as someonehe would like to interview for the coordinator job. Saunders hasinterviewed in the past for head coach and coordinator jobs in Oakland.
VIDEO: Hue Jackson introductory news conference
Saunders has been a coach for nearlythree decades in the NFL. He went 17-22 in two-plus seasons as headcoach for the San Diego Chargers from 1986-88 and has spent most of hiscareer as a respected offensive assistant.He spent eight seasons runningoffenses in Kansas City, Washington and St. Louis. He spent two yearswith current Raiders quarterback Jason Campbell with the Redskins.The offensive coordinator job is justone of many the Raiders need to fill. The only assistants still undercontract are defensive line coach Mike Waufle and defensive backs coachKevin Ross. Defensive coordinator John Marshall will not be back nextseason, although some of the other assistants could still be retained.
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