Saunders Headed To Raiders

Long-time Chiefs assistant coach Al Saunders has danced many times with the silver and black legend known as Oakland Al.

Apparently they have finally gotten together as ESPN reported Thursday evening that Saunders has been hired to be the offensive coordinator of the Raiders under the team’s new head coach Hue Jackson.

At least twice before in his time coaching with the Chiefs, Saunders interviewed with Al Davis for Oakland’s head coaching position. Once, he apparently was the choice and intended to take the job, but then found out Davis was already hiring a coaching staff for him.

For the last two seasons, Saunders has worked on the Ravens coaching staff in Baltimore where he had the titles of offensive consultant (2009) and senior offensive assistant (2010). It was during that 2009 season that he worked with Jackson, who was then the Ravens quarterbacks coach.

Jackson joined the Raiders as offensive coordinator last off-season and was in place after Davis flushed Tom Cable two days after the end of the season despite the team’s 8-8 finish, its best record in eight years.

Saunders had two tours of duty with the Chiefs. The first was from 1989 through 1998 he was the team’s wide receivers coach under Marty Schottenheimer. He returned in 2001 as offensive coordinator on Dick Vermeil’s staff and spent five seasons with the club. Vermeil pushed to have Saunders named his replacement once he stepped down after the 2005 season. But the Chiefs selected defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham instead.

6 Responses to “Saunders Headed To Raiders”

  • January 21, 2011  - TDKC says:

    Joe is right. Edwards was Vermeil’s replacement. That’s when the whole…up the middle, up the middle, pass and punt offense began.

  • January 21, 2011  - Michael O says:

    Oh to go back and have Saunders instead of Gunther. I would have liked to see that.

  • January 21, 2011  - Niblick says:

    Bob meant to say when Marty left after the 1998 season Gunther was hired over Saunders. I heard on talk radio that the rumor was that Peterson picked Gunther over Saunders because Saunders wanted to keep Gannon over Grbac. Carl wanted to keep Grbac. I’m not sure how valid this is, but I certainly would rather have kept Gannon and hired Saunders.

  • January 22, 2011  - ED says:

    More than likely true Niblick. Gannon should have retired a Chief. I always said Marty worst mistake in Kc was the year we lost to Broncos in divisonal round which was also same yr Grabac got hurt and Gannon was on fire that yr with the offense we should’ve stuck with the hot QB that yr. Which was clearly Gannon.

  • January 22, 2011  - Merwin says:

    Vermeil did want Sanders to be his replacement when he stepped down. Bob goofed, it was then that Peterson selected Edwards as Vermeil’s replacement.

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