"Holy Toledo!"

January 16, 2015

Blame It On Del Rio

Filed under: NFL, Oakland Raiders — Bill @ 12:15 pm

Many times in the past head coaches have stood up at their introductory press conference and proclaimed to understand the real meaning of “Pride & Poise” or “Commitment to Excellence”. They would talk like they knew the great history of the Oakland Raiders, but very few of them really understand it, and even fewer still lived it.

Set your DVR to 1 pm Pacific, because today a true East Bay kid, a real Raiders fan will be introduced as the head coach of the Oakland Raiders. We welcome Jack Del Rio.

Depending on who you ask you can either thank, or blame his parents for his love of the Silver & Black. When he was just 7 years old his dad had the radio tuned to Bill King as he described another George Blanda miracle finish. Ask him who the Mad Bomber was, he’ll know. When he was 11 he screamed with joy when Clarence Davis caught that wobbly pass in the game that is known as the Sea of Hands. About the time he was getting his driving learner’s permit he and his parents celebrated as John Madden hoisted the Lombardi trophy. His team had beaten the Vikings and were champions of the world. As a senior at Hayward High he witnessed the improbable comeback of Jim Plunkett, and for the second time he beamed with pride when his team won Super Bowl XV. You ask him what Skip Thomas’s nickname was, he’ll know. Ask him who touched the ball, and in what order on the Holy Roller play, he’ll know. As a kid he owned a Raiders hat and wore it with pride and poise.

All that said, is he the best man for the job?
We will find out. He has several things going for him that recent coaches have not. First and foremost he has a young quarterback in which to build his offense around. He has the framework of a defense that defined the character of this team last season. Kids like Khalil Mack, Sio Moore, D.J. Hayden, T.J. Carrie, and Justin Ellis are bricks in this teams foundation.

He has a GM in Reggie McKenzie that has shown an ability to draft quality players. Consider that when Reggie joined the Raiders they had traded away many of their draft picks for quarterbacks no longer with the team, and their salary cap situation looked like Dresden circa 1945. From the 2013 Draft eight or his first nine picks are still with the team, including two shrewd mid to late round picks that landed stars Mychal Rivera and Latavius Murray. Last year’s draft class was outstanding, Reggie picked up five starters which, besides Mack & Carr, includes a young star on the horizon offensive lineman Gabe Jackson. Six of the eight picks were regular contributors, and all eight made the team. The salary cap is now in good shape, the Raiders have the money to fill in their holes with quality free agents. None of the free agents from last years were high priced guys that have long term contracts.

Does all of this mean that Jack Del Rio is the best man for the job? Well my crystal ball is equally as accurate as yours, so we really have no idea. We know that nothing about being the head coach of an NFL team will surprise or intimidate him. He has done this job before, and been successful at it. I won’t bore you with his past coaching record, but I will tell you that he has had good teachers. While as a player in the NFL he has worked under Jimmie Johnson, Tony Dungy, Dennis Green, Jim More, Wade Phillips, and Frank Ganz. Not a bad list of men to learn a thing or two about defense.

In today’s NFL a big part of a teams success depends on their offensive and defensive coordinators. What young Derek Carr needs is for Reggie to draft some weapons, and for Jack to bring in an offensive mind that can draw up a winning scheme. The name we keep hearing is a man considered one of the brightest offensive minds in football Marc Trestman. While perhaps miscast as a head coach Trestman was unsuccessful last year with the Bears. The role where he is best suited, and has had the most success is as an offensive coordinator. In 2002 when the Raiders last went to the Super Bowl guess who was their offensive coordinator? Answer: Marc Trestman.

On the other side of the ball the name I would like to see as defensive coordinator is Vic Fangio. You might recognize him as the architect of the 49ers top ranked defense these past few seasons. Jack likes Vic, and his name has been mentioned as a strong possibility.

At this moment the Raiders are in the best position to succeed as they have been in many years.

Wherever you are today at 1 o’clock, put on your old school Raiders hat, think of Madden & Flores, and know that one of your own is going to be the head coach of your Oakland Raiders.

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2 Comments »

  1. I sure hope that jack is what the team needs they are do to be winners

    Comment by uncle buck — January 16, 2015 @ 12:32 pm

  2. This is a well-written article. I especially liked that Holy Toledo did not talk down to us as Raider fans. Ken Stabler – Pete Banaszak – Dave Casper.

    Comment by Craig Parker — January 16, 2015 @ 12:41 pm


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