MOBILE, Ala. -- The Raiders have narrowed their coaching search to three candidates -- Winston Moss, Dennis Allen, and a third "mystery candidate," according to a person with knowledge of the situation.
Eagles offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg and Saints offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael Jr. are no longer in the running, according to the same source. Bears offensive coordinator Mike Tice removed himself from consideration Monday night, according to reports out of Chicago.
Prior to a Senior Bowl workout Monday, Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie told CSNCalifornia.com that he was optimistic that the coaching search would conclude soon, and suggested it could happen by Saturday.
"You'll know soon enough. Soon enough," McKenzie said Monday at the airport after arriving in Alabama, adding "It could happen. It could happen by Saturday."
Allen is the current defensive coordinator with the Broncos, and Moss is the Packers' assistant head coachinside linebacker coach. Moss is a former Raiders linebacker.
The 2011 season was Allen's first as defensive coordinator in Denver. He had previously been an assistant in Atlanta and New Orleans. Last year his defense ranked 11th in the NFL.
Moss has been with the Packers for six seasons, the last four in his current position. He played for the Raiders in Los Angeles from 1991-1994.
McKenzie made it clear from the start that he planned to get a new head coach in place as soon as possible.
"I would like sooner than better," McKenzie said at his introductory media conference on Jan. 10, when asked about his hiring timeline."But if I have to wait, I'll wait. I'm going to work my tail off to hire the best coach, the best fit. And that's all that's going to matter right now. And that will start now. And however long it takes, that's how long it will take. But we want to get the right guy."
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.”