One day after the San Francisco 49ers introduced their new head coach, Jim Tomsula, the Oakland Raiders took their turn, introducing Jack Del Rio, and the two events could not have been more different. While Niners fans suffered through a stumbling and bumbling Tomsula, Raiders fans drew excitement from a Del Rio who looked more like a man running for president than the 20th coach in franchise history.
That Del Rio came off so polished was no surprise. He did press conferences for nine years in Jacksonville, so he has infinitely more experience talking to the media than Tomsula. Plus, let’s not forget that Del Rio looks so good in a suit that he followed Mike Nolan’s lead and wore one on the sidelines while he was with the Jaguars.
Winning a press conference means absolutely nothing when it comes to winning on Sundays, but that doesn’t mean they’re useless. The other way that the two Bay Area press conferences differed was in the information obtained. Del Rio’s press conference had a lot of “coach speak,” but even so, it provided more information than yesterday’s gathering in Santa Clara, where Tomsula spent most of his time avoiding answering questions about, you know, football. Del Rio did a better job of dancing around questions he didn’t want to answer while also giving some insights into how he views his new team.
Specifically, Del Rio spent a lot of time talking about defensive fundamentals. Anyone who watched he Raiders the last few years knows that some of the biggest issues came from the simplest problems. Players taking bad angles, not wrapping up on tackles and failing to get off blocks. On offense, he noted that one of his priorities will be to make sure the team does not put too much on Derek Carr’s shoulders, something for which his predecessors were criticized by many.
All in all, Raiders fans have good reason to be happy about the press conference. Del Rio gave the impression that he is on top of things and that he has a plan on how to go about rebuilding this team. He was charming and played well with the media. In fact, his introductory comments were so well-stated that owner Mark Davis said he wished he could hire Del Rio again. Now all that’s left to see is if Davis feels the same way around this time next year.