Raiders hire Bob Sanders as linebackers coach
Bob Sanders replaces former Oakland Raiders linebackers coach Johnny Holland, who was fired at the end of the regular season along with offensive coordinator Greg Knapp, offensive line coach Frank Pollack and special teams coordinator Steve Hoffman. Earlier this month, Oakland Raiders head coach Dennis Allen filled those openings by hiring Greg Olson as his offensive coordinator, Bobby April as special teams coordinator and Tony Sparano as the new offensive line coach.
The 59-year-old Bob Sanders is coming-off two seasons as the Buffalo Bills linebackers coach after spending the first of four seasons with the team as a defensive coordinator. The entire Buffalo Bills coaching staff was fired at the end of the 2012 season.
Buffalo Bills defensive end Chris Kelsay had one of his best seasons under Bob Sanders in 2010. Bob Sanders also bolstered the Buffalo Bills offensive line by bringing over Nick Barnett from Green Bay in 2011. Moving Nick Barnett over to weakside linebacker had a monumental impact on reviving his NFL career. Nick Barnett had a career best three interceptions and his highest tackling numbers since the 2007 campaign. He had another good tackling score last season.
Prior to that, Bob Sander was with the Green Bay Packers – one season as a defensive line coach before being promoted to defensive coordinator. The Green Bay Packers defense ranked amongst the worst in the league as they missed the playoffs during Bob Sanders’ first year in Green Bay. However, the defense slowly progressed to 11th overall in the league during 2011 as the Green Bay Packers posted a 13-3 record and earned a playoffs berth that season. it was Brett Favre’s final season with the Green Bay packers, as they lost the NFC Championship game 23-20 to the New York Giants. The Green Bay Packers held up their defensive efforts during their final season in Bob Sanders’ tutelage in 2008.
However, it was Miami where Bob Sanders started his NFL career, coaching the Dolphins linebackers from 2001-2004. Bob Sanders setup Zack Thomas had one of his best campaigns under Bob Sanders’s first three seasons Miami during which he made the Pro Bowl three straight times.
Between coaching NFL and college, Bob Sanders has 33-years of experience. Before he jumped on the linebackers coaching job with the Miami Dolphins, Bob Sanders led the Florida Gators to a win SEC Championship during his final season. Bobby Sanders occupied varying position while coaching the Gators for over a decade, as well as helping three former Gators Jevon Kearse, Kevin Carter and Huey Richardson reach first-round picks in the NFL draft. He also spent time as a linebackers coach with the Duke Blue Devils, defensive line/linebackers coach with East Carolina and as a part-time coach with Georgia Tech.