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2016 Oakland Raiders Gameday 7

Coaching Staff QUALITY CONTROL – DEFENSE 5th season in NFL ■ 5th season with Raiders Travis Smith enters his fifth year with the Raiders and his second as quality control - defense. He previously served as a defensive assistant for the Silver and Black from 2012-14. In 2015, Smith contributed to a defense that featured two Pro Bowlers in veteran S Charles Woodson and second-year DE Khalil Mack. Working primarily with the defensive line, Smith continued to work with Mack as he developed into an elite defender, totaling 15 sacks to rank second in the league and third in franchise history. Mack also tied a franchise record with five sacks against Denver in Week 14, becoming just the sixth player in the NFL with a five sack game since sacks became an official stat in 1982. He tallied four multi-sack games in 2015, which combined with his multisack game as a rookie, tied for the most multi-sack games by a Raider through his first two seasons. With Smith’s assistance, DT Dan Williams recorded career highs with 15 starts, 59 tackles (34 solo) and three passes defensed and tied his personal bests with one sack and one fumble recovery in his first year with the Raiders. Smith also helped in the development of rookie DE Mario Edwards Jr., who quickly became a significant contributor, posting 41 tackles (31 solo), two sacks, three passes defensed and three forced fumbles in 10 starts. He was named Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week after recording season-high 11 tackles (eight solo), one sack and one forced fumble against Minnesota. As the Raiders defensive assistant, Smith worked extensively with the linebackers. In 2014, Smith helped tutor Mack as a rookie. Oakland’s first-round (fifth overall) selection in the 2014 NFL LINEBACKERS 9th season in NFL ■ 2nd season with Raiders 40 Gameday MAGAZINE Draft, Mack finished third in the voting for the Associated Press Defensive Rookie of the Year. He was also named to the Pro Football Writers of America’s All-Rookie Team. For the season, Mack finished with 75 tackles (59 solo) and four sacks, as he became the third Raider linebacker to start all 16 games his rookie season. Mack was also the only rookie named to the 2014 USA Football All-Fundamentals Team, which honors 26 NFL players who exhibit exemplary football techniques for young players to emulate. In addition, LB Sio Moore notched a career-high 112 tackles. In 2013, Smith helped a revamped unit that included three new starters in veteran LBs Nick Roach and Kevin Burnett and rookie Moore. Roach played every snap at middle linebacker and posted career highs in tackles (152) and sacks (5.5), while Moore was named to the PFWA All-Rookie Team after recording 4.5 sacks in his first season. Smith joined the Raiders after spending the previous two years in the collegiate ranks. Smith was an offensive technical intern at Colorado in 2011. He coached at Santa Monica (Calif.) Junior College in 2010, assisting the tight ends and the defensive linemen. He also served as an undergraduate assistant coach at Cal Poly. TRAVIS SMITH Sal Sunseri enters his second season with the Silver and Black as linebackers coach. A 32-year coaching veteran, Sunseri begins his ninth season in the NFL. Under Sunseri’s tutelage, free agent signee LB Malcolm Smith led Oakland in tackles in his first year with the team, recording a career-high 143. Smith helped solidify the Raiders’ linebacking corps, starting all 16 games and playing nearly every defensive snap. Smith finished with four sacks, good for second on the team. Veteran LB Aldon Smith played in nine games with seven starts for the Silver and Black, ranking third on the team with 3.5 sacks. Under Sunseri, rookie LBs Neiron Ball and Ben Heeney made significant contributions in their first year. Ball emerged as a starter at outside linebacker before injuring his knee in Week 7, totaling nine sackles (four solo), one sack and one pass defensed in six games with two starts. Heeney played in 15 games with three starts and earned 39 tackles (28 solo), 2.5 sacks and one forced fumble. Prior to joining the Raiders, Sunseri spent two years at Florida State. There, Sunseri helped Florida State complete a 13-1 Rose Bowl campaign in 2014 and an undefeated (14-0) BCS National Championship season in 2013. Following the 2013 season, Sunseri was promoted to head coach of defense while continuing to serve as defensive ends coach. The 2014 Seminole defense was key to Florida State’s school- and ACC-record 29-game winning streak, which tied for the 12th longest streak in NCAA history. Seven FSU defenders were named to the All-ACC team in 2014, including first-team junior DE Mario Edwards Jr. Edwards Jr. led the team with 11 tackles for loss and also had three sacks, five passes defensed and two forced fumbles. Overall, Florida State went 28-1 with Sunseri as an assistant coach, as he joined the team prior to the 2013 Orange Bowl. The 2013 National Championship marked Sunseri’s third BCS title in five years, following his 2009 and 2011 championship runs at Alabama. The defensive ends, coached by Sunseri, had monumental success in 2013. Christian Jones and Edwards Jr. helped the Noles finish first in the country in passing yards allowed, allowing just 156.6 yards per game. The Seminole defense also ranked No. 1 in scoring defense (12.1 points per game) and No. 3 in total defense (281.4 yards per game). Jones collected All-ACC Second-Team accolades and finished with 56 tackles, eight tackles for loss and a team-best six quarterback pressures, while Edwards Jr. was named to the All- ACC Third Team and finished with 28 tackles, including 9.5 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks. His finest performance came in the BCS National Championship Game against Auburn, where he totaled a career-best three tackles for loss and had one sack. Jones signed with the Chicago Bears as an undrafted free agent following the 2013 NFL Draft and went on to appear in all 16 games for the Bears with five starts. Sunseri served as Tennessee’s defensive coordinator in 2012. With the Vols, Sunseri coached two of the nation’s top defensive players in LB A.J. Johnson and CB Byron Moore. Johnson was fourth in the nation and led the SEC with an average of 11.5 tackles per game. Moore was tied for 11th in the nation in interceptions, leading the SEC in that category. Prior to Tennessee, Sunseri spent three years as the assistant head coach and linebackers coach at the University of Alabama under Nick Saban, including the 2009 and 2011 National Championship teams. The 2011 Crimson Tide outside linebackers flourished under Sunseri and contributed to the overall success of the defense. Lombardi and Butkus Award finalist OLB Courtney Upshaw led the way with 17 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks, which ranked second and fourth, respectively, in the SEC. Sunseri was also recognized individually for his contributions when he was named a finalist for the Broyles Award, presented to the nation’s top assistant coach. In 2010, Sunseri continued to build on his solid foundation from the National Championship season. The defensive unit ranked third in the country in scoring defense and fifth in total defense. Sophomore LB Dont’a Hightower garnered second-team All-SEC honors with 69 tackles and nine quarterback hurries. Upshaw led the Tide with 14.5 tackles for loss and seven sacks, and was named the MVP of the Capital One Bowl. In Sunseri’s first season at Alabama in 2009, he helped guide the Tide to the National Championship behind a dominant defense that ranked second nationally in four major categories: rushing defense, pass efficiency defense, total defense and scoring defense. The Alabama defense generated 32 sacks and 98 tackles for loss, despite losing Hightower to an early-season injury. Alabama was also wellrepresented on the Associated Press All-American team with three defenders earning first-team honors, including Butkus winner LB Rolando McClain. Sunseri spent seven years (2002-08) with the Carolina Panthers under then-head coach John Fox, a tenure that included the franchise’s first NFC Championship and Super Bowl appearance. He joined the Panthers as a defensive assistant in 2002, then took over as defensive line coach in 2003. His defensive line with the Panthers was regarded as one of the best in the NFL. DEs Julius Peppers and Mike Rucker and DT Kris Jenkins earned Pro Bowl honors during his tenure. Sunseri produced at least one Pro Bowl defensive lineman five times as the line coach. The Panthers were among the top 10 in the NFL in fewest yards allowed in four of his seven seasons. Prior to his time at Carolina, Sunseri worked as the linebackers coach and special teams coordinator at Michigan State in 2001 after spending 2000 on Saban’s LSU staff in the same capacity. He was the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at Alabama A&M in 1998 and 1999 after three seasons as the linebackers coach at Louisville. Sunseri’s climb of the coaching ladder included one-year stops at Illinois State (1994) and Iowa Wesleyan (1993). He broke into coaching at his alma mater, Pittsburgh, in 1985 and directed the defensive line and linebackers before being named assistant head coach in 1992. SAL SUNSERI


2016 Oakland Raiders Gameday 7
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