Oakland Raiders Changed Receivers Coaches in ’09, but Did It Help?

Following the 2008 season, James Loften was demoted from the Oakland Raiders receivers coaching position.  At the time, the media thought Loften was fired and it was theorized the reason for the termination was because he did not get the most out of the Oakland receivers.

It was a tough year for the Raiders, as usual in this day and age.  Though looking at things realistically, the Raiders had gone through two head coaches and three play callers (Lane Kiffin, Greg Knapp and Tom Cable).  Keeping a consistent passing game is a tough chore, no matter the talent level.  Loften could hardly be blamed.

If you recall, Loften had been previously interviewed for the Raiders head coaching position that ultimately went to Lane Kiffin.  This was not to satisfy the Rooney rule so minority candidates got a shot. Loften is fully qualified to be head coach of an NFL team.  His reputation has him painted as demanding and he works his players hard. 

Not only was Loften’s removal a surprise, no one was quite sure what to make of Loften’s presence still hanging around the Raiders facility in 2009.  In what capacity, we still don’t know. He is not listed on the team’s web site or media guide.

My guess is he is simply being allowed to serve out his contract in some administrative capacity.

At the beginning of the 2009 season the question was posed if Sanjay Lal was going to make a bigger impact as the Oakland Raiders receivers coach than Loften did.

Let’s look at the statistics for the receivers and tight ends.  We’ll leave the receiving stats for the running backs out of the mix for clarity's sake.


Zach Miller 56/778

Johnnie Lee Higgins  22/366

Chaz Schilens 15/226

Ashley Lelie 11/197

Javon Walker 15/196

Ronald Curry 19/181


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