Oakland not yet Payton's Place

When Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis talks on a rare occasion, people are eager to hear what he has to say.

In fact, it was so compelling he held a press conference that aired on KNBR radio in San Francisco. The discussion topic mostly consisted of the Raiders coaching situation but included other things as well.

Davis said that contrary to popular belief Dallas Cowboys assistant Sean Payton, who interviewed with the Raiders for a second time Monday, has not been offered the job – and nor has he turned down the job.

"I don't think Sean Payton has turned down the job because Sean Payton wasn't offered the job," Davis said. "You people have assumed that he was the candidate. I just don't think that's fair. We never said it. … There is no timetable. When I hired Jon Gruden it was two days before the Super Bowl. … The thing is to try to be right."

Davis added that Payton has impressive credentials but would not be the last possible candidate. It is possible that Oakland would likely consider New England defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel or offensive coordinator Charlie Weis. Both individuals are preparing their team for their Feb. 1 Super Bowl matchup against the Carolina Panthers. That situation means the Raiders cannot talk to any member of either staff or their agent until after the Super Bowl.

The Raiders fired Bill Callahan, who is now the University of Nebraska head coach, on Dec. 30. Two members of his staff since have taken jobs elsewhere. Quarterbacks coach Jim Harbaugh is now at UC San Diego while defensive line coach Mike Waufle accepted a job on the New York Giants staff.

Special teams coach Bob Casullo has visited two teams according to Davis. Tight ends coach Jay Norvell had been rumored to join Callahan's staff at Nebraska but Davis remains high on Norvell.

"I told him I would not hire a coach unless he accepts you as the tight ends coach," Davis said. "That's all he wanted to hear. He was excited and he accepted that. Within a couple of days Bill Callahan called and said he was going to hire Jay Norvell as his offensive coordinator. I said to Bill that we may even give that consideration to him if we get a new coach. We don't have an offensive coordinator but anyhow he said he wants to be here. He said that he just told me that he wants to be at Nebraska. I said, ‘bill, you believe strongly in rules. We have a contract with him and I just think you should leave him alone at least until I get a coach.' … Bill is a good guy. Bill just lost track of which rules are we going to follow."

As for what type of coach the Raiders would hire, Davis said he is not a believer in hiring a disciplinarian.

"I don't know if that's the way to go with this modern day culture," Davis said. "These are educated guys, most of them. There are a couple that are tough to handle but that's part of a group process."


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