The Raiders have finished filling out their coaching staff with the announcement of the hiring of Bob Sanders as their new linebackers coach.
The hiring of Sanders adds another veteran coach to the roster just a couple of days after naming Sparano the new offensive line coach, with Al Saunders still on the staff.
Sanders has 33 years of experience in coaching on the defensive side of the ball, including time as a defensive coordinator. Sanders was last a defensive coordinator from 2006-2008 with the Green Bay Packers while Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie was also there. Sanders has spent the last four years serving as linebacker coach for the Buffalo Bills.
The 59-year-old coach served 11 years (1990-2000) at the University of Florida primarily working with defensive ends and linebackers, including one year as assistant head coach and one as assistant defensive coordinator. Sanders’ tutelage helped three Gator defensive players earn first round draft picks: Jevon Kearse, Kevin Carter, and Huey Richardson.
Sanders moved on to the Miami Dolphins for his first NFL coaching gig, coaching the linebackers and Zach Thomas, who earned three-straight Pro Bowls during Sanders’ tenure with the Dolphins.
The hiring of Sanders, along with head coach Dennis Allen and defensive coordinator Jason Tarver, gives the Raiders three coaches on the defensive side of the ball with defensive coordinator experience. The same can be said on the other side of the ball, as offensive coordinator Greg Olson, offensive line coach Tony Sparano and senior offensive assistant Al Saunders all have offensive coordinator experience.
The Raiders no longer have any open coaching positions needed to be filled with the hiring of Sanders. It should prove beneficial to the Raiders to have the entire coaching staff to evaluate players during the Senior Bowl.