As usual, Raiders taking their time to find a coach

Groundhog Day usually overlaps with the Raiders’ nearly annual head-coaching search. Oakland always takes more time than any other team, and this year has been no different.

We’re in the second half of January, and the Raiders still haven’t made a decision. They could opt for interim head coach Tom Cable, who did a tremendous job with the Oakland team he inherited. But one Raiders official pointed out that Cable was Lane Kiffin‘s hire, which doesn’t score him any extra points.

Raiders owner Al Davis met this past week with Giants defensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride for about seven hours, and a team source said the owner was highly impressed.

Now, Davis has had a habit of gleaning as much information out of as many coaching minds as he can, and that could be what’s at play with Gilbride. But some believe Gilbride is a bona-fide contender to become the next Raiders head coach.

Whether it’s Cable or Gilbride, the biggest issue facing Oakland’s next head coach is the development of quarterback JaMarcus Russell. The Raiders know that if they go with a new head coach, they break up the continuity and rhythm established with Russell. If they go on with Cable and some of the coaches he knows, Russell might feel more comfortable.

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