Looking Ahead: Five Bold Predictions About the 2015 Raiders
Oct 16, 2014; Foxborough, MA, USA. New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan looks on from the sidelinesl during the first half at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports
3. Put the Foot back in Football
With his New York Jets sitting at 1-8 (but hey, at least they beat the Raiders!), Rex Ryan may be on his way out in New Jersey. After two straight winning seasons and AFC Championship appearances to start his head coaching career, Rex Ryan has now coached his way out after four consecutive seasons of .500 or worse. While he still displays the brashness and defensive acumen that got him the head coaching job in New York, he has often struggled with complimenting his great defenses with good offense, and has severely mismanaged the development of promising quarterback prospects Mark Sanchez and Geno Smith. Like his father before him, Rex’s true calling as an NFL coach is probably as a defensive coordinator, a post he was nothing short of brilliant in.
Rex Ryan could have some head coaching offers in front of him, either in college or with some desperate NFL franchise, but after the traumatic experience of being a head coach for the Jets, he may look at a Raider roster than includes Khalil Mack, Sio Moore, TJ Carrie, DJ Hayden, Justin Ellis, and a first round draft pick that is probably Leonard Williams, and decide to join the Raiders dream team coaching staff instead. Rex Ryan could be the Raiders’ defensive coordinator in 2015.
All jokes aside, the Raiders would be massively lucky to land Ryan as a defensive coordinator. In fact, they’d be lucky to land him as a head coach, provided they found someone more competent than Brian Schottenheimer, Tony Sparano or Marty Mornhinweg to run the offense. Ryan’s defenses generally finish in the top 10-12 in yards allowed, and generally are among the best run defenses in football, year in and year out. His defenses in Baltimore remain some of the best ever seen in the NFL. He could maximize the talent the Raiders have or will have, and devise ways to mask depth or talent deficiencies. Ryan knows how to allow players to do whatever it is they do well and he’s a large reason why Ed Reed had the career he had, or why Ray Lewis was able to produce at such a high level into his 30’s.
Rex is also the type of brash, honest personality that has been sorely missing from the Raiders sideline in the past few seasons. With Jim Harbaugh as the next Raider head coach, Gruden running the offense and Rex Ryan as the defensive coordinator, the Raiders could finally have a balance on the sideline, with personalities that compliment each other. There is absolutely no chance that the three could clash, or that a couple of losses strung together could create some sort of coaching controversy, or that there will ever be a punch thrown on the sideline.
Just imagine the collection of calm, humble, rational personalities in coaches’ meetings when Jim Harbaugh, Rex Ryan and Jon Gruden all get together to talk about strategy and break down film. Just the kind of measured leadership the Raider organization needs to succeed in 2015. Now all they need is to bring back man of peace Tom Cable.