Why he is the man for the job ? or Why he may not be the best coach for the Raiders Future.
Mark Davis was right, for now. Two long years ago his struggling franchise was at a crossroads. A young team coming off of another dismal season (3-13) led by Dennis Allen and finished with Tony Sparano. Some pieces were in place with QB Derek Carr, and LB DE Khalil Mack. While Mark Davis was patient and let GM Reggie Mckenzie fire Hue Jackson and hire his guy Dennis Allen. Davis kept in touch with bay area native Jack Del Rio over the years. Davis brought in raider great John Madden to consult on the hire and it was a done deal. JDR was named the head coach of the his favorite team growing up The Oakland Raiders. The Raiders went 7-9 in year one of the Del Rio era looking more like a professional football team. Then comes year 2. The Raiders get off to a fast start on the road winning late in dramatic fashion on TD passes by Derek Carr and Clutch Defensive plays by 2016 NFL Defensive player of the Year Khalil Mack. If not for a broken fibula by QB Derek Carr late in a blow out win at home against the Colts we could have easily seen Raiders Falcons in the Super Bowl 51. Jack Del Rio has pushed the right buttons which is why his current contract he went from one of the lowest paid Head Coaches in the league to a four year extension. Lets look into our silver and black crystal ball to see if Jack can bring the Raiders all the way back to the championship.
Why he is the man for the Job?
Second time is the charm, and stabilizing the Nation. Many coaches have done great things in their second time around the block as Head Coach. Bill Belichick, and Tom Coughlin come to mind the two men have 7 Super Bowl wins between them. Whether it’s changes to the staff or finding the right line up. Experience of failing and experience of success are great coaching lessons. Mark Davis is a hands off owner, Reggie Mckenizie is a solid GM who has done a great job in free agency and the draft. Del Rio has nothing but support in the organization. A great talent evaluator and an owner who choose him over others to lead his team so its time for the Raiders to be in the big game during the next 4 years.
Why he is not the man for the Job?
Defense Defense Defense!!! In two seasons the Oakland Raiders have been a defense in disarray. They struggle to cover, they are suspect tackling, and have a hard time getting pressure on the QB only having 19 sacks last year. Besides that they were great!! Not things you would expect from a Defensive Head Coach. Hiring Defense Coordinator Ken Norton raised some eye brows around the league he wasn’t really on anyones radar as far as NFL DC’s go. The recent hiring of former charger DC John Pagano as Assistant Head Coach - Defense can’t make Norton feel good about his position. Pagano has a great reputation around the league, with his defenses finishing in the top ten twice in his career as a Defensive Coordinator in San Diego.
Money Money Money. The Raiders have drafted well you sign free agents. This isn't baseball the cap will get to you at some point. Roster decisions will be critical for the team since they will have to finally start paying the great young talent in consecutive years. Derek Carr, then Khalil Mack, and Amari Cooper. The Seahawks decided to pay their defense as they should but now they have one of league worst Offensive line. Russell Wilson is running for his life most weeks. Oakland could lose quality players like RB Latavius Murray and OG Gabe Jackson go in the future due the Cap.
Lack of flexibility. Whatever you think about the New England Patriots they don't stop winning. One of the biggest reason for that is their flexibility to play any style of defense or offense. Their game plan is not season specific its opponent specific. Belichick can be seen ripping a weeks worth of game plans on the sideline. Then coming up with a new game plan on the fly. Belichick often say’s “if you wait to make adjustments at halftime its to late.” When Coach Del Rio was asked about the Steelers lost to the Pats. He said “that you can’t play zone blitz style of defense and change it up just for one game”. The reason the Atlanta Falcons were so successful for three quarters vs the pats, was that completely broke tendencies. They played a defense that they haven't showed on film all year. The Raiders are a solid draft and free agency class away from competing with the Pats. Flexiblty will be the key or a lack there of might be De Rio undoing.