Scott Davis | Coaching is Key to Big Raider Turnaround
It’s been a while since the Oakland Raiders have finished with a winning season. As a matter of fact it was 2002 and the Raiders lost a Super Bowl XXXVII to former coach Jon Gruden and the Tampa Bay Bucs. However many are surprisingly confident that 2015 will be a turnaround type of year. The organization is still assembling what looks to be a roster that can deliver more checks in the win column. The other part of the equation for winning in Owner Mark Davis’ mind is mostly set, the coaching.
New Coaching Staff
Davis made some bold and eye opening proclamations when he broadcasted the hiring of new Raider head coach Jack Del Rio in mid-January. He proselytized that Del Rio would was the man to deliver the elusive championship for the organization and fans alike. Suffice it to say there aren’t a lot of experts jumping on that bandwagon. At least not this soon.. Maybe not but Del Rio is a solid capable coach. He was the defensive coordinator for John Elway and the Denver Broncos for the last three impressive seasons. Before hanging his coaching hat in Denver he was the head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars leaving there with a record just a hair below 500. To many, 500 isn’t any impressive accolade to pad a resume with but consider how the Jaguars have fared after Del Rio left the Jaguars. Incidentally he coached that team to the playoffs twice.
What does help a resume however is when a coach becomes available on the open market and is publically touted by none other than former Raiders coach and Hall of Famer John Madden. Del Rio edged out Tony Sparano, who performed in solid fashion as the intermediate coach for the last 12 games of the Raiders 2014 season post Dennis Allen being fired. An additional perk for Del Rio is that he spent his youth growing up in the East Bay Area, and the fact that his family has been big Raider fans and season-ticket holders over the years.
The newly minted coach will bring much needed expertise to the defensive side of the ball for the Raiders. They were an abysmal last in the league in 2014 allowing 28.3 points per game. The Broncos on the other hand finished No. 3 in total defense last year under their new head coach.
Del Rio has also hired Ken Norton as his defensive coordinator. Norton certainly has cut his stripes learning under one of the best coaches around. During the past five seasons as linebackers coach, Norton was with Seattle under the guiding eye of Pete Carroll. Six years prior to that Norton coached linebackers and was assistant head coach for Carroll at USC. The Raiders job marks the first opportunity for Norton to coach minus the presence of Carroll as his boss.
Articles and posts about Raiders by Scott Davis