The Oakland Raiders have found their head coach in former Denver Broncos defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio. After nine years as the head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars, Del Rio has more experience than most of the coaches currently in the NFL. On top of those nine years of experience as a head coach, Del Rio has nine additional years as an assistant coach and another ten years of time in the NFL as a player. As a result of Del Rio’s 28 years of experience in the NFL, he has connections that other coaches the Raiders considered do not.
It’s believed that with those connections, Del Rio will be able to put together one of the best coaching staffs Oakland has seen in years. There have already been a number of names mentioned as possible assistants for Del Rio and the list is rather impressive.
There has been a lot of talk about Mike Smith as the defensive coordinator. Smith, who was recently fired from his job as head coach of the Atlanta Falcons, was Del Rio’s defensive coordinator when he was in Jacksonville. The two put together some nice defenses back then and would be an ideal team to get the ball rolling in Oakland. In the story linked in the paragraph above, ESPN’s Bill Williamson suggests the Raiders might grab Vic Fangio, who has the same agent as Del Rio. However, there will likely be stiff competition for Fangio’s services after his success with the 49ers.
As for offensive coordinator, there have been reports that former Chicago Bears head coach Marc Trestman is in the mix. Trestman struggled to find success in Chicago but is still thought of as a very good offensive mind and someone who would be good for Derek Carr’s development. But Del Rio will have competition for Trestman, who has already interviewed in Cleveland for the offensive coordinator job. The 49ers could have interest as well.
The Raiders also asked for but were denied permission to speak with Mike Tice, the current offensive line coach of the Atlanta Falcons and former head coach of the Minnesota Vikings. Though the Raiders were unable to talk to Tice, it was believed that Del Rio had a good shot at luring him away from Atlanta to join his staff in Oakland.
All three of these names would be impressive gets. Obviously Tice will not be coming to the Raiders, but just the fact that three former head coaches have been mentioned as potentially joining Del Rio’s staff is a huge upgrade for the Raiders. In years past, they often found themselves digging through the trash heap of coaches for assistants. But by all appearances, the hiring of Del Rio will mean the assembly of an impressive group of coaches.