While most Bay Area football fans were focused on the 49ers this past weekend, the Oakland Raiders were busy.
Coming off a 4-12 season and the firing of four assistant coaches after the season, the Raiders reportedly were conducting interviews and contemplating a restructuring of their front office.
Mike Martz, a longtime offensive coordinator in the NFL and former head coach of the St. Louis Rams, has surfaced as a possible replacement candidate for Greg Knapp, recently fired as Raiders offensive coordinator.
Martz, who sat out this past NFL season after being fired by the Bears as offensive coordinator following the 2011 season, recently interviewed with the Raiders, reported Steve Corkran of the Bay Area News Group.
There’s nothing conservative about Martz’s offensive schemes. As offensive coordinator for the Rams team with quarterback Kurt Warner that went to the Super Bowl, Martz was behind the high-scoring, “Greatest Show on Turf” unit that put points on the scoreboard in bunches.
As head coach in St. Louis, his offenses were equally wide-open. He also has served as offensive coordinator for the 49ers (in 2008), Detroit and Chicago.
As AFC West’s ESPN blogger, Bill Williamson, wrote Sunday: “Martz believes in a wide-open offense that could fit the Raiders’ fast receivers.”
Williamson noted, however, that Martz likely isn’t the only candidate for the job.
In addition, the Raiders are looking for an offensive line coach, special teams coordinator and linebackers coach.
Corkran reported that Juan Castillo, longtime offensive line coach for the Eagles under Andy Reid, has been interviewed for the job in Oakland.
Though Martz’s NFL offenses have at times been potent, Ryan Wilson of CBS Sports doesn’t see Martz as a good fit in Oakland. Martz’s run-ins with quarterback Jay Cutler in Chicago hastened his departure.
“Martz’s predilection for eschewing the run for the pass has a tendency to get his quarterbacks mauled,” wrote Wilson. “Given Darren McFadden’s presence in the backfield and Carson Palmer’s age and mileage, this probably wouldn’t be the best marriage.”
Meanwhile, ESPN’s Chris Mortensen has reported the Raiders have had talks with Ray Anderson, the NFL’s senior vice president of football operations, about joining the team’s front office. It’s not certain in what capacity Anderson would serve with the Raiders, or where he would fit in the management structure under owner Mark Davis and with general Manager Reggie McKenzie and CEO Amy Trask.
Mortensen reported the Raiders sought and received permission from the league to speak with Anderson recently. Anderson joned the NFL office in 2006 after serving as an executive with the Atlanta Falcons.