Oakland Raiders players impressed with Tony Sparano over bye week


Going into their Week 6 class with the San Diego Chargers the Oakland Raiders will have a new head coach manning the sidelines as after the disastrous 0-4 September former head coach Dennis Allen has made way for interim head coach Tony Sparano after owner Mark Davis and general manager Mark Davis were left with no choice but to shake things up in an attempt to salvage the season.

Sparano was made the interim head coach early in the bye week and the Raiders had perhaps no better option in their staff than the former Miami Dolphins HC who led the team to the playoffs using the “Wildcat” playbook as his claim to fame now a few years back to take a team that struggled mightily before he came on to the postseason. Since that year Sparano’s head coaching and coordinating career hasn’t reached the same heights, but after coming to Oakland following a failed stint as OC with the New York Jets the longtime NFL coach is being given another chance to show that he can maximize talent as the leader of a team.

According to Ian Rapaport, Sparano is doing well leading up to Sunday’s game against the Chargers in commanding the respect of the locker room. Rapaport tweeted this morning that the interim head coach is being well received and that the players are impressed with how well he is speaking to the group of players. Something that included burying a football symbolically to start practice this week after the bye as well as giving players such as Denarius Moore a clean slate with a new head coach.

Of course we won’t know how Sparano’s impact will translate onto the field until after this afternoon’s game against the Chargers, but it is a good sign that the Raiders won’t come out flat after an 0-4 start and a coaching change if Rapaport’s report is true. Sparano needs to get a group of rookies and already proven veterans to play for him even if he may not be the boss next season, so motivating and earning the respect of the locker room is key to things turning around in October. If his public speaking skills translate into wins, Raider Nation’s spirits could be a lot higher than they have been so far this season.