Willie Brown coaching up Raider defensive backs in training camp (photo by Levi Damien)
The Raiders have nearly an entire new coaching staff in place this season. But two members of the new staff are former Raiders. Those two coaches are assistant offensive line coach Steve Wisniewski and former squad development and defensive backs coach Willie Brown. New head coach Dennis Allen recognizes the need for continuity in coaching. But he also recognizes Raider tradition in them.
Steve Wisniewski had a Hall of Fame worthy career at left guard for the Raiders. Having him in the fold last season as the assistant offensive line coach was a coup of sorts. Not only was he a former Raider great, but he is the uncle of Raiders left guard Stefen Wisniewski.
"I think keeping some of that continuity within the offensive line." Allen said of Steve Wisniewski. "I think there was an element there that we wanted some people that did have some knowledge of the Raiders organization and the way that things have been done in the past, and I think he's obviously, I wouldn't say he's a bright young coach, but I'd say he's a bright and up and coming coach and I was really impressed with him when I met him for the very first time."
Willie Brown has been on the Raiders staff for several years now. Even if he isn't the defensive backs coach by title, they always find a coaching position for him. Last season his title was Squad Development. But if you watched him at practice, he was essentially the defensive backs coach. Rod Woodson held the title of DB coach but he took a backseat in coaching duties to his Hall of Fame elder in Brown.
Brown's title has yet to be defined but having him as part of the staff is valuable. He is a calm, respected coach who knows how to get the best from his players.
Allen understands the need for some continuity in the staff so bringing back Wisniewski and Brown along with former offensive coordinator Al Saunders and Running backs coach Kelly Skipper are all of great benefit to a new staff with players they have never coached.
He also recognizes the tradition of Raider Legends and their continued roles within the organization set forth by Al Davis. That loyalty to former players and coaches is what makes the Raiders an attractive organization of which to be a part.