Raiders promote assistant John Fassel to run special teams

ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis took time out from choosing a head coach Saturday to promote assistant John Fassel to special teams coordinator.

Fassel, the son of former New York Giants coach Jim Fassel, joined the Raiders two years ago. He essentially shared responsibility for Oakland's standout special teams last season with Brian Schneider, who agreed Wednesday to join Pete Carroll in the same job at USC.

Davis still is debating whether to keep interim head coach Tom Cable, who went 4-8 and won his final two games after Davis fired Lane Kiffin on Sept. 30. Raiders senior executive John Herrera said Saturday that Davis is "considering talking to one or two more guys," and should decide whether to pursue those interviews soon.

Only three of Davis' candidates for the top job are known, including Cable. Davis interviewed Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride on Thursday, and Green Bay Packers assistant head coach Winston Moss also has spoken to the Raiders.

Fassel's previous contract recently expired, along with the deals of nearly every assistant on Cable's staff. However, a large portion of Oakland's assistants has stayed on the job anyway, Herrera said. A handful of key coaches have moved on, including offensive coordinator Greg Knapp (Seattle Seahawks), defensive coordinator Rob Ryan (Cleveland Browns) and running backs coach Tom Rathman (San Francisco 49ers).

Don Martindale, the Raiders' linebackers coach for the past five seasons, spoke with Davis on Saturday about becoming Oakland's defensive coordinator. Martindale has been pursued by the Browns and Denver Broncos to join their new coaching staffs.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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