ALAMEDA -- Greg Knapp preached patience, but the patience of coach Dennis Allen ran out.

Knapp, the Raiders' offensive coordinator, was one of four assistant coaches fired Monday after a 24-21 loss to the San Diego Chargers that completed a 4-12 season.

Allen, who had backed Knapp and his offensive system throughout the season, cited the bottom line.

"I think what happened is you realize that it wasn't working," Allen said at his season-ending news conference. "We weren't getting the production that we needed to, and I felt like we needed to make a change."

Also let go were offensive line coach Frank Pollack, linebackers coach Johnny Holland and special teams coordinator Steve Hoffman. Allen said he didn't expect any more changes on the coaching staff.

Knapp's dismissal means the Raiders will once again start over with a new offensive system. Allen said there is no timetable for hiring a new coordinator and said senior offensive assistant Al Saunders is under consideration.

Saunders was the offensive coordinator for the Raiders in 2011, although head coach Hue Jackson was the play-caller.

Among the head coaches with experience as an offensive coordinator who were fired on the NFL's "Black Monday" were Norv Turner (San Diego), Pat Shurmur (Cleveland), Ken Whisenhunt (Arizona) and Chan Gailey (Buffalo).

"We'll try to start the process as soon as we can, and we'll go until we get the right guy," Allen said.


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Knapp was hired by Allen specifically to implement an offense with a zone blocking scheme and a moving pocket, tearing apart an offense that had been relatively successful under Jackson, who was the offensive coordinator in 2010 and the head coach in 2011.

Because of the Raiders' prior success and that running back Darren McFadden had flourished once Jackson cut back on zone scheme plays in favor of gap and power blocking runs, Knapp's selection was unpopular among much of the fan base.

It got even more unpopular as the Raiders struggled to run the ball and score points. After generating the most rushing yards in the NFL in 2010 and 2011, they dropped to 28th in 2012 at 88.8 yards per game with only four rushing touchdowns.

McFadden gained 707 yards on 216 carries with two touchdowns for a career-low average of 3.3 yards per carry. As a team, the Raiders dropped from 4.5 yards per carry to 3.8 yards per attempt.

The Raiders ranked 26th in scoring offense at 18.1 points per game and Sunday's total of 21 points was the most since Nov. 4 in a 42-32 loss to Tampa Bay.

Knapp compared the offense to a "start-up company" and expected it to take off in the second year of the system.

"I believe the zone running scheme is a productive running scheme," Allen said. "Obviously we didn't have the success we needed and there are a lot of factors that contributed to that.

"I'm not tied to a specific system. I'm tied to trying to find out what our players can do really well and try and put them in those positions to give them a chance to have success. I'm looking at production and execution, and that's where we have to be better."

Quarterback Terrelle Pryor, one of the few players in the locker room after Allen's news conference, said he was "sad" that Knapp was gone.

"I really loved the guy as a coach ... that's the business," Pryor said. "Coach Allen said at a team meeting he made the best decision. Whether we agree with it or not doesn't matter. We have a great leader in D.A. ... everybody in the locker room believes in him."

Pollack, with extensive experience in zone blocking, came from the Houston Texans, where he worked with Knapp.

Hoffman's special teams units struggled to get any traction in the return game and surrendered a 99-yard kickoff return to Michael Spurlock in Sunday's season finale in San Diego.

Holland was the lone defensive coach let go from a unit that gave up 27.7 points per game, ranked 28th in the NFL, but improved considerably over the final month of the season after a horrendous November.

For more on the Raiders, visit the Inside the Oakland Raiders blog at ibabuzz.com/oaklandraiders. Follow Jerry McDonald on twitter at Twitter.com/Jerrymcd.

Downsizing

How the Raiders offense fared over the last two seasons (averages per game):

2011 2012
379.5 Yards 344.0
247.6 Passing 255.3
131.9 Rushing 88.8
22.4 Points 18.1