Whisenhunt interviews for Raiders' coaching job ESPN.com ne

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Oct 18, 2005
It doesn't matter who they get. They still will finish in last place next year. Book it!

The Raiders

ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Super Bowl winning offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt interviewed with Raiders owner Al Davis and other team officials Wednesday for Oakland's vacant head coaching position.

Oakland has been without a head coach since Norv Turner was fired Jan. 3, giving a new coach little time to put together a staff and set his offseason priorities before the scouting combine begins Feb. 22.

The Raiders did not make an offer Wednesday, ESPN.com's John Clayton reported. Davis told Whisenhunt that he would "be in touch."

Whisenhunt and former Raiders coach Art Shell are seen as front-runners for the job.

Davis has already interviewed Al Saunders, James Lofton and Rod Marinelli, and had talks with former St. Louis Rams coach Mike Martz, Shell and Oakland quarterbacks coach John Shoop.

Saunders decided to take a job running the Washington Redskins' offense, Marinelli was hired as Detroit Lions head coach, and Martz will be the Lions' offensive coordinator next season.

Whisenhunt, coming off his second season as offensive coordinator for the Pittsburgh Steelers, could choose to wait another year when he probably would have more options. The Raiders are the only team currently with a coaching vacancy.

If the Raiders do not hire Whisenhunt, it is uncertain whether they would talk to any other candidates or try to reach a deal with one of the other people they have interviewed.

Shell would appear to be the most likely choice. He made eight Pro Bowls and won two Super Bowls in a 15-year career with the Raiders that led to his induction into the Hall of Fame.

He later coached the Raiders, replacing the fired Mike Shanahan in 1989 and lasting through 1994, the team's final season in Los Angeles. He is currently the senior vice president of football operations and development for the NFL.

Shell had a 54-38 regular season record, leading the Raiders to the AFC championship game following the 1990 season. He has not gotten a second chance as a head coach after his firing, a move Davis has said he regretted.

Shell had a winning record in four of his five complete seasons. The Raiders have had only three winning seasons since his firing and are only 13-35 the past three seasons.

Also Wednesday, Raiders special teams assistant coach Martin Bayless was hired by the Houston Texans to be their assistant defensive backs coach.