Oakland Raiders line up against the San Francisco 49ers during an NFL preseason game
This week the Raiders announced five new additions to their front office and support staff. I noted that the Raiders didn't have to go far to find any of them. Most of whom either recently worked in the Bay Area or were native. Two in particular, media relations coordinator Erin Exum and equipment assistant Jeff Gilbert, had recently been on the 49ers staff. But they will join quite a few familiar faces from their days with the Raiders' cross-bay rivals.
They has been a high conversion rate from Red and Gold to Silver and Black this offseason.
Previous to these two hires, the Raiders had hired former 49ers head of security, Fred Formosa to be their director of security. And for those wondering; No, Formosa had nothing to do with the violent incidents that happened at Candlestick in last year's preseason game. First off, he wasn't there at that time. Second, he is team security not stadium security.
Earlier this offseason, another former 49er, cornerback Shawntae Spencer, noted just how many people he recognized on the Raiders from his days with the 49ers. He noted the close proximity as well as the familiar faces now wearing Silver and Black as factors for choosing to sign with the Raiders.
"There was several determining factors," said Spencer. "I've grown quite fond of the Bay Area. I'm familiar with it and it's always tough up and moving to a new city, learning a new city, and then all the other factors that play into being with a new organization. That was one of the factors, the other was just being reunited with Jonnie Lynn and Jason Tarver...
"It's a great atmosphere. It's funny because, a lot of familiar faces. I know a lot of the players... So many familiar faces just all around the building from the video department to the PR and things like that so the adjustment hasn't been that difficult for me."
As he mentioned, defensive backs coach Johnnie Lynn and defensive coordinator Jason Tarver both came over from the 49ers. They were members of the same defensive staff in San Francisco from 2006-10-Lynn was the secondary coach and Tarver was the outside linebackers coach. Both coaches left when Jim Harbaugh took over last season. Lynn returns to the Bay Area from Philadelphia and Tarver just crosses the bay as he was co-defensive coordinator at Stanford last season.
Other former 49ers on the Raiders include college scout David McCloughan who spent the past five years as director of college scouting with the 49ers. He had been a scout with the Raiders for many years prior to that.
This doesn't exactly make the Raiders the 49ers east. It mostly means that the new staff in San Francisco had a changeover and in that process, there were some talented coaches, players, and support staff that were let go. You can also expect many of them still have homes in the Bay Area and jumped at the chance to not have to uproot or work far from home.
I mean, come on, the 49ers had success last season but that doesn't mean that every coach or staffer that was fired or player that was released was the right move. There had to be some sacrifices and the Raiders are just hoping to be the beneficiaries of those sacrifices.