Raiders favoring Chiefs' Saunders as next coach

Updated: January 14, 2006, 12:18 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

The Oakland Raiders head coaching favorite appears to be Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Al Saunders but his Kansas City line coach, Mike Solari might be a darkhorse candidate, as well as Fresno State head coach Pat Hill and San Diego Chargers receivers coach James Lofton, ESPN's Chris Mortensen reported Saturday.

Lofton interviewed on Thursday, the second person in as many days brought in to discuss the team's head coaching vacancy.

The Raiders also were working to set up a meeting with Fresno State coach Pat Hill, who on Wednesday issued a statement through the school giving NFL teams a 10-day window in which to interview him but didn't specify when it began or would end.

Lofton, who has been the San Diego Chargers' receivers coach for four seasons, is the first minority candidate to meet with owner Al Davis and his top personnel man, Michael Lombardi.

Oakland officials interviewed Saunders at team headquarters on Wednesday as a potential successor to Norv Turner, fired Jan. 3 after consecutive losing seasons. The Raiders lost their final six games this season and failed to beat an AFC West opponent for the first time since Davis came aboard in 1963 to coach and eventually own the team.

Information from ESPN's Chris Mortensen and The Associated Press was used in this report.

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