Joey Clinkscales

Raiders To Overhaul Personnel Department

When the draft wraps up in any given year, a rash of pink slips are handed out to scouts around the league, who suddenly find themselves without work after helping make the draft a reality. But in addition to the usual scouting spring cleaning, the Raiders plan to make dramatic changes to the upper levels of their personnel department, according to Alex Marvez of the Sporting News

Per Marvez, Oakland is expected to add at least one new personnel executive to the front office, and Matt Miller of Bleacher Report tweets that Ed Marynowitz and Brian Heimerdinger are potential candidates for the job. Marvez also hears that player personnel director Joey Clinkscales could be on his way out. Clinkscales, who previously worked as Vice President of College Scouting for the Jets and who has been a GM candidate twice in his career, has been with the Raiders since 2012, but Marvez suggests that he might be headed to the Browns‘ front office.

Clinkscales joined the Raiders in 2012, and his longstanding relationship with Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie may have made the team a good fit for both men. But head coach Jon Gruden, who rejoined the silver-and-black this offseason, apparently wants to shake things up a bit throughout the department, which is not an uncommon development when a new head coach or GM comes on board.

Gruden now has final say on roster decisions, usurping a bit of McKenzie’s power, but McKenzie and Gruden both say that they are working well together. McKenzie said, “I got a feel for coach Gruden. We like the same type of players.”

A Raiders spokesman decline comment as to whether major changes are forthcoming.

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Pollard Alliance Releases HC, GM Candidates

The Fritz Pollard Alliance met with the NFL this week and submitted names of suggested GM and head coaching candidates. The list, which is distributed to teams each year, recommends minority candidates for openings around the league. Teryl Austin (vertical)

This year’s candidates for GM jobs are Joey Clinkscales (Raiders), Alonzo Highsmith (Packers), Ray Farmer (Rams consultant), Will McClay (Cowboys), and Doug Williams (Redskins), according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). The head coaching candidates are Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin, Vikings DC George Edwards, Panthers DC Steve Wilks, and Titans offensive coordinator Terry Robiskie, as Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets.

Farmer has ten years of front office experience under his belt, including two as the Browns’ GM. The team went 10-22 under his watch, so wouldn’t necessarily be an exciting choice for a team this offseason. The other four suggested candidates would be first-time GMs, if hired.

Austin has been considered a bonafide head coaching candidate for some time, but he has been left in a holding pattern. In the 2016 offseason, Austin opined that two of his four interviews were done solely to satisfy the Rooney Rule. This past year, he interviewed with the Rams and Chargers.

Absent from the list is former Bills GM Doug Whaley, who received a potentially bogus interview with the Browns this week.

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Pollard Alliance Releases HC Candidates List

The Fritz Pollard Alliance Foundation typically releases its list of recommended minority head coaching candidates in January. This year, we have an early preview of the list, courtesy of Tom Pelissero of USA Today. This year’s suggested candidates will include Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin, Bills offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn, Cardinals OC Harold Goodwin, and Vikings DC George EdwardsTeryl Austin (vertical)

Austin was a popular candidate for coaching vacancies last year but ultimately did not find a head coaching gig. After interviewing with the Browns, Dolphins, Giants, and Eagles, Austin indicated that he felt only two of the interviews were “legitimate” while the other two were only done to satisfy the Rooney Rule, which stipulates that a minority candidate must be interviewed for every job. Since the Browns hired a black coach in Hue Jackson, Austin presumably isn’t accusing Cleveland of interviewing him to fulfill the requirement.

The Bills installed Lynn as their OC in September after ousting Greg Roman. The Bills have been up-and-down this year, but they now stand at 6-6 despite injuries to key players. Lynn has had to run the Bills’ offense without star wide receiver Sammy Watkins for much of the year and teams will certainly take notice of his capable job despite the less-than-ideal circumstances.

Goodwin has made no secret of his desire to land a head coaching job. However, there are some factors working against him. First, the Cardinals offense has struggled this season. Secondly, despite rave reviews from those around him, Goodwin does not call the plays in Arizona, and that could deter interested teams.

Edwards was placed on the Pollard list for the first time last year and he returns this season. Like Goodwin, he does not call plays for his team despite the coordinator title. However, he comes with a strong recommendation from head coach Mike Zimmer and he did call the plays against the Cowboys when Zimmer was recovering from surgery. With Edwards at the wheel, the Vikings allowed just 17 points against one of the league’s most electric offenses.

The foundation also released a list of general manager candidates including Giants VP of player evaluation Marc Ross, Raiders director of player personnel Joey Clinkscales, former Lions GM and current Giants exec Martin Mayhew, and Eagles director of college scouting Trey Brown.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.