The San Diego Union Tribune reports that NFL Hall of Fame receiver James Lofton is in the final stages of negotiations to become the Raiders next head coach, which would complete another shameless raid of the San Diego area by the Bay Area (Jim Harbaugh left the University of San Diego to take the Stanford job recently). We don't know a lot about Lofton's coaching abilities other than he has been the receivers coach for the Chargers since 2002, and that he was thought of highly enough to be a finalist for the head coaching openings at Stanford (finishing second to Harbaugh) and with the Buffalo Bills (last year).

By latching on with the Raiders, Lofton would actually be taking over a team with a better record than the one for which he previously interviewed (Raiders 4-12, Stanford 1-11). And at the time he interviewed for the Bills post, Buffalo was coming off of a 5-11 season. Hey, you gotta reach for the stars.

But Lofton, an eight-time Pro Bowler who played in three Super Bowls with the Bills, has been well-liked wherever he has been. He played for Stanford before a 15-year NFL career with the Packers, Raiders, Bills, Rams and Eagles, ending in 1993. However, in typical Al Davis fashion, this is not yet a done deal.

Lofton, 50, who also interviewed with the Raiders after last season, could be named the team's coach as soon as Wednesday. However, one source cautioned, "You never know with these things." Lofton is almost certainly concerned about things such as how much control he will have under owner Al Davis and how many of the staffing decisions he will be allowed to make.


How about "none," and "see above." (By the way: He's also interviewing Denny Green. The Raiders are absolutely who we thought they were.)

Report: Lofton Set To Become Raiders Coach [San Diego Union Tribune]