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Raiders add seven to new coaching staff

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POSTED February 2, 2012 7:13 p.m.

ALAMEDA (AP) — The Oakland Raiders hired seven additional coaches for Dennis Allen's staff on Thursday, including three who were with the team last year.

The Raiders hired former Houston assistant Frank Pollack to replace Bob Wylie as the team's offensive line coach and former fullback Justin Griffith to be offensive quality control coach. They also hired Al Miller as strength and conditioning coach, with John Greico serving as his assistant.

Oakland also announced that running backs coach Kelly Skipper will be back for a sixth season in Oakland, assistant offensive line coach Steve Wisniewski returns for a second season and defensive quality control coach Eric Sanders was retained for a third season.

The most notable hiring was Pollack, who had spent the past five seasons as the assistant offensive line coach for Houston. The Texans were second in the NFL last season with 153 yards rushing per game. Houston has traditionally used a lot of zone-blocking schemes, while the Raiders utilized more power blocking last season under Wylie.

Pollack will be assisted by former Pro Bowler Wisniewski, who is entering his second year as an NFL assistant. Wisniewski's nephew, Stefen, just finished a successful rookie season as Oakland's starting left guard.

Miller has two decades of NFL coaching experience, having spent time in Atlanta with Allen, as well as the New York Giants and Denver Broncos.

Griffith played seven pro seasons, including two with Oakland. He has extensive experience playing for new Raiders offensive coordinator Greg Knapp, who coached Griffith with the Atlanta Falcons and Raiders.

Skipper spent two seasons as tight ends coach in Oakland before switching to running backs the past three. The Raiders were seventh in the NFL in rushing last season with 131.9 yards per game.

With Allen in his first head coaching job at any level, there has been increased focus on the type of staff he would put together. He has been barred from talking to some assistants under contract with other teams but did previously hire Knapp as offensive coordinator. The Raiders are still searching for a defensive coordinator among other vacancies.

NFL.com reported that Oakland has asked Green Bay for permission to interview cornerbacks coach Joe Whitt Jr. for the coordinator job.

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