Marshall's departure could be start of defensive shake-up for Raiders

Posted Jan. 16, 2011 @ 12:45 p.m.
Posted By Dan Parr

While the Raiders' defense was stingier when it came to yards allowed in 2010 — moving up from being ranked 26th in '09 to 11th in that category this season — it gave up only eight points less (371) than it did in the year prior. It was the fewest points the Raiders had allowed in a season since 2006, but the improvement was apparently not enough to convince managing general partner Al Davis that he needed to keep defensive coordinator John Marshall on staff.

Davis has not hired a head coach yet, but he's been reviewing the team's assistants, and Marshall will not be back in 2011, according to a report from the San Francisco Chronicle. The Raiders have yet to confirm the move, and a spokesman told the Chronicle that their staff evaluations are "confidential."

Marshall's tenure would conclude after two seasons, and his dismissal would not come as a surprise — we had heard that he and Davis clashed philosophically at times.

Word is offensive coordinator Hue Jackson will soon be named head coach. Meanwhile, the Raiders will have to find a defensive coordinator after losing out on Rob Ryan, who was with the Raiders from 2000-08 and was a top candidate for the coordinator job in Oakland, to the Cowboys.

As the Raiders continue shaking up their staff, difficult decisions in free agency that could leave the defense without its two Pro Bowlers from 2010 will come later. CB Nnamdi Asomugha, who had his contract voided at the end of the season, will get an opportunity to explore offers with other teams, and DT Richard Seymour is due to become an unrestricted free agent after playing under the franchise tag in '10.

There's a good chance Davis would be willing to outbid other potential suitors to re-sign these players, and both of them are open to returning to Oakland. That endeavor could become more complex for Davis, however, if the salary cap is reinstated under the next Collective Bargaining Agreement.