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Oakland Raiders assistant Al Saunders to call plays at Senior Bowl

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The Oakland Raiders have a new offensive coordinator, but he will not be calling the plays at the Senior Bowl.


The Oakland Raiders announced over the weekend that they had hired Greg Olson, former quarterbacks coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars, as the new offensive coordinator for the team. However, despite being announced to the coaching staff and traveling to be with the team in Alabama for the Senior Bowl, it will be Al Saunders, and not the new offensive coordinator who will becalling the plays during the game.

This is not an incredibly surprising decision since Olson was announced just days before the beginning of practice for the game. While Olson has been an offensive coordinator before, he was not one in his most recent stop, so he likely does not have a playbook ready to use.

In addition, it is likely Dennis Allen will want to have more say in how the Raiders offense is run next season. After allowing Greg Knapp total control over the offense in 2012, the second year head coach likely realized that he is going to need to play a much bigger role on the side of the ball that does not come naturally to him.

While it is true that Olson could have worked off of the playbook the Raiders already have and that Al Saunders will be working off of, that may not have been the best idea for the Raiders. By relieving Olson of his in game duties, he has more time free to work with Allen on the offense the Raiders will actually be deploying in 2013.