Whisenhunt set to interview with Raiders
ALAMEDA, Calif. - Super Bowl winning offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt was set to interview for the Oakland Raiders' coaching vacancy Wednesday, a day after celebrating his triumph with a parade in Pittsburgh.
Whisenhunt was planning to fly to the Bay Area after the Steelers' victory parade Tuesday and become the fourth person to interview formally with owner Al Davis for the job to replace the fired Norv Turner.
Oakland has been without a head coach for more than a month since Turner was fired Jan. 3, giving a new coach little time to hire a staff and set his offseason priorities before the scouting combine begins Feb. 22.
Davis has already interviewed Al Saunders, James Lofton and Rod Marinelli, and had talks with former St. Louis Rams coach Mike Martz, former Raiders coach Art Shell and Oakland quarterbacks coach John Shoop. Saunders decided to take a job running the Washington Redskins' offense and Marinelli was hired as Detroit Lions head coach.
Nothing came of the talks with Martz, one of the game's top offensive minds.
Whisenhunt, an NFL tight end for seven seasons, just finished his ninth year as an NFL assistant and second as the Steelers' offensive coordinator.
His work in developing second-year quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and play-calling in the playoffs, including the reverse touchdown pass from receiver Antwaan Randle El to Hines Ward in Pittsburgh's 21-10 win over Seattle in the Super Bowl, have made him a desirable coaching option.
With all vacancies other than the Raiders already filled this offseason, it's unclear whether Whisenhunt would want to undertake the task of rebuilding a team in Oakland or wait another year when he could have more choices.
Since going to the Super Bowl following the 2002 season, the Raiders have had three straight losing seasons for the first time since Davis came aboard in 1963 to coach and eventually own the team. They won just nine games in two seasons under Turner, despite having Randy Moss, LaMont Jordan and Kerry Collins leading the offense last season.
Davis has been known to give chances to those without previous head coaching experience in the NFL and he prefers offensive-minded coaches.