The Raiders fired several members of coach Dennis Allen’s staff after the end of the regular season, including linebackers coach Johnny Holland.
They’ve now filled all of those spots with the announcement that Bob Sanders will coach the linebackers this season. This is not the Bob Sanders who played safety well for the Colts when he wasn’t battling one of his frequent injuries. It is the Bob Sanders who ran the Packers defense from 2006 to 2008.
Sanders’ defense finished sixth in the NFL in points allowed in 2007, helping them to a 13-3 record and a berth in the NFC Championship Game. The performance cratered in 2008, however, and Sanders was replaced by Dom Capers. Raiders General Manager Reggie McKenzie worked for the Packers in a personnel job during those seasons so there’s a familiarity with Sanders’ work in Oakland.
The Raiders will likely be looking for a new middle linebacker this offseason thanks to Rolando McClain’s status as persona non grata within the organization after getting suspended for conduct detrimental to the team. McClain was also arrested earlier this month.
Sanders landed in Buffalo where he coached the defensive line in 2009 and linebackers in the last three years.