Feb. 8, 2011GUTIERREZ ARCHIVERAIDERS PAGE RAIDERSVIDEOPaul Gutierrez
When he joined the Raiders staff as an assistant coach on defense last summer, Greg Biekert was heralded as the man who may be best remembered for recovering Tom Bradys fumble in the Tuck Game against the New England Patriots.Now that Biekert has been promoted to linebackers coach, he may be known for pushing the recently-hired Chuck Bresnahan back into the Raiders defensive coordinator role.RELATED: Bresnahan re-joins Raiders coaching staff
Because while Bresnahan, who was Oaklands D.C. from 2000 to 2003, was brought back under the nebulous title of defensive coach, it was assumed he would be the linebackers coach once a new coordinator was brought in. So with Biekert the position coach, logic dictates Bresnahan is the man, right?Well, the Raiders insist Biekerts hiring stands on its own. Besides, they still have designs on speaking to other coordinator candidates.Now that the Super Bowl is concluded, they purportedly include Green Bay assistant head coachinside linebackers and former Raiders linebacker Winston Moss and Packers secondary-safeties coach Darren Perry.Still, you have to wonder what role and job description Bresnahan would fill if he is not the defensive coordinatorif defensive line coach Mike Waufle is promoted to D.C., does Besnahan fill that spot?For now, though, Oakland is concentrating on trumpeting the internal hire and elevation of Biekert, who played with the Raiders from 1993 through 2001.Im excited to re-connect with one of the true and great Raiders, new coach Hue Jackson said in a release. His vision and mine are right in line with each other."Biekert joined the Raiders staff last summer as a defensive assistant and remained on the teams Web Site this offseason, even as other names began disappearing.
The Raiders were pretty darn good last season. A 12-4 record proved that point. There was plenty of talent on a team with a penchant for high-wire acts in victory that masked the fact there were holes on the roster.
They need to be filled for the Raiders to improve in 2017, and new players will be imported through free agency and the draft.
Left tackle Donald Penn is excited to see who gets added, but said there’s no doubt talent is coming to Oakland. He speaks for Raiders players, who have faith that general manager Reggie McKenzie will make the right moves.
“Things that Reggie has done in past drafts have been great, and we’re looking forward to seeing what he brings back towards us,” Penn said recently during an in-studio appearance on NFL Network. “We can’t wait to get back out there healthy. We’re ready to hit the football world with a storm.”
While new guys are coming, a few might head out. The Raiders have several unrestricted free agents. Penn wants to keep his guys around – he mentioned running back Latavius Murray by name -- though he has some ideas for McKenzie’s checklist.
The Raiders don’t need much with most key players under contract – the Raiders should be less active in free agency over past offseasons – but a few key components could put this team over the top.
“If we stick to Reggie’s plan, we’ll be great,” Penn said. “I know he’s going to have a great draft, add a couple little pieces here and there – maybe somebody in the secondary to help out a little bit.
"On offense, you could always use a weapon. Maybe we get another receiver to take (pressure off Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper), but we have a good nucleus right now.”
Derek Carr is on the mend. The Raiders franchise quarterback had surgery to repair his fibula shortly after he broke it in a Week 16 victory over Indianapolis, and is recovering well during the offseason.
Carr insisted on intense rehab this winter in an attempt – however unlikely it may have been – to return should the Raiders have played in the Super Bowl. It slowed to a normal pace after the Raiders' loss at Houston in the postseason’s opening round, but those in contact with him say he’s making strides.
Left tackle Donald Penn was recently in contact with Carr, and provided an update on Monday during an in-studio appearance on NFL Network.
“I texted Derek (a few) days ago checking in,” Penn said, “and he said he’s almost 100 percent.”
Surgically-repaired broken filbulas take significant time to heal, and the Raiders plan to be conservative with their MVP candidate during the offseason. Derek Carr’s brother and NFL Network analyst David Carr, who was on set with Penn on Monday, said Derek could be back for offseason work.
“He’s doing good,” David Carr said. “He’s walking around already, stretching it out. You can’t do a lot for the bone, right? But he’s going to be back. He’s going to get a whole full offseason in. That’s going to be the best part.”