To me, to really be an effective coach, in football or any other sport, you need some experience as a player. To coach an NFL team, I really do think you need some NFL-level playing experience to really understand what it's like to be a player, to then be able to instruct and guide them.
I wanted to take a look at the Oakland Raiders' coaching staff to see which members of the Silver and Black's leadership team had actually played NFL ball. Here's a list of the Raiders' coaches and their NFL experience:
Dennis Allen - Head Coach
I was surprised to learn Coach Allen was a star safety during his college days at Texas A & M University. He was so good, he was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Buffalo Bills and even completed their training camp in 1996. Allen never played in the NFL, but I do think that experience of going through that process can help him relate to players, especially the large number of Raider rookies we have this year.
Justin Griffith - Quality Control Coach - Offense
Grifiith has some serious NFL history. He was drafted by the Atlanta Falcons in 2003 and played for the team from 2003 through 2006. He then joined the Raiders as a player and played in the 2007 and 2008 seasons. He finished his career in 2009 playing for the Seattle Seahawks.
Johnny Holland - Linebacker Coach
Holland has seven years of NFL playing experience, all with the Green Bay Packers. He was a second round draft pick for the Packers in 1987 and played there until retiring in 1993. He racked up over 100 tackles for six consectuive seasons in Green Bay.
Johnnie Lynn - Defensive Backs Coach
Lynn played in the NFL for eight years, all for the New York Jets. He played in New York from 1979-1986 as a cornerback and safety. He was drafted as a fourth-round pick in 1979 from UCLA.
Frank Pollack - Defensive Line Coach
Pollack is another Raiders coach with strong NFL experience. He was selected by the San Francisco 49ers as a sixth-round pick in 1990 and played with the Niners for two years, then moving to the Denver Broncos, playing there for two years, 1992 and 1993. He ended his career back in San Francisco, playing from 1994-1998, winning a Super Bowl Championship in 1994.
Steve Wisniewski - Assistant Offensive Line Coach
Steve Wisniewski was a career Raider before retiring and becoming a coach. He started 175 straight games before retirement and was an eight-time Pro Bowl selection. He was also elected the Raiders' team captain seven times. He was originally drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in 1989, but immediately traded to the Raiders.
Although born and raised with Eagles fans in Philadelphia, Freddy Sherman has always been a citizen of Raider Nation at heart. Since his dad got him a signed George Blanda football as child, to meeting Lyle Alzado in the 1980s, he hasn't looked back. Follow him on twitter @thefredsherman
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