Oakland Raiders: Dennis Allen’s Search for Assistant Coaches Taking Shape

Just a day after officially announcing the hiring of offensive coordinator, Greg Knapp, it looks as if the rest of the dominoes are starting to fall and the 2012 Oakland Raiders' coaching staff is coming into focus.

The Raiders have retained assistant offensive line coach Steve Wisniewski to work alongside freshly hired offensive line coach Frank Pollack. The team has also hired former Kansas City Chiefs special teams coordinator Steve Hoffman to fill the same position. 

Pollack replaces offensive line coach Bob Wylie, who spent just one year as a coach for the Raiders. A highly respected coach around the league who holds annual seminars on line play, Wylie helped the Raiders' offensive line improve dramatically while having many of the same faces along the line. Oakland gave up the third fewest sacks in the league with 25.

Pollack previously spent the past five seasons with the Houston Texans, which after the hiring of Knapp, who was the team's quarterbacks coach, makes all the more sense. Houston has finished in the top five in total offense each of the past three seasons, and much of that is due to the improved play of its offensive line. In his first season as a line coach, Pollack was able to cut the Texans' sacks allowed in half.

All that being said, if Raider Nation was displeased with the hiring of Knapp, this hiring certainly has the potential to ruffle a few feathers as well. Though Wisniewski remaining on the staff should assuage some of that frustration, Pollack's hiring should mean one thing: as if Knapp jumping on board didn't make it obvious enough, the Raiders will most likely shift to a zone blocking scheme. Pollack has run the system exclusively in Houston.

Reserves like Joseph Barksdale, Bruce Campbell, and Stephon Heyer could be rendered useless with the switch. Though Heyer is an unrestricted free agent, the Raiders spent a third and a fourth round draft pick on Barksdale and Campbell, ...

About the Author