Dec 28, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio greets Oakland Raiders fullback Marcel Reece (45) following the game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Broncos defeated the Raiders 47-14. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Jack Del Rio went from exploring a promotion to looking for a new job once the Denver Broncos were eliminated from the playoffs causing them to dismiss their Head Coach John Fox.
As for the Raiders, they have already done their due diligence searching for a coach. They have explored a plethora of options including Pat Shurmur, Eric Mangini, Tony Sparano and many others have been rumored.
Thus far, only Sparano has had an interview with GM Reggie McKenzie, Owner Mark Davis, and John Madden. It is yet to be known whether the candidate Del Rio will have all three present at his second interview, Tuesday.
Regardless, it does not take a rocket scientist to see Del Rio is the perfect fit for the Raiders.
Understanding the culture and mystique of the Raiders
Del Rio is a bay area native who was able to hoist a High School Championship at the very Coliseum he would coach at. He is from the bay area, and his parents are long time season ticket holders.
Not only would Del Rio get to have a home coming, but he understands the culture and prestige of the Raiders. Del Rio would love to help restore this franchise to greatness because he understands what the team means to the area.
Head coaching experience
Check. Del Rio went 68-71 with the Jacksonville Jaguars including two playoff births. In Jacksonville, his offense was vanilla many times, but he built a solid defense around Marcus Stroud and John Henderson at the defensive tackle position. This Oakland team is also a young team in a small market, so it is beat Del Rio is familiar with.
Not to mention he was the Broncos Interim Head Coach last season when John Fox had heart surgery. Hence, the Raiders won’t have to worry about a steep learning curve from Del Rio. He understands how to manage both sides of the ball unlike most bright minded coordinators. Plus, he has better success and reviews at previous stints than Shurmur or Mangini.
Dennis Allen jumped ship as the Broncos Defensive Coordinator when he became the Raiders Head Coach. The difference? Jack Del Rio just helped the Broncos have the third ranked defense in the entire league. Del Rio also helped Von Miller continue his success in Denver, which should translate to Khalil Mack.
The Broncos mainly ran a 3-4, while Del Rio utilized a 4-3 scheme in Jacksonville. It will be interesting to see what scheme he utilizes in Oakland as they are currently built for a hybrid defense.
Tony Sparano won the hearts of the players last season, so much that he got them to beat three potential playoff teams. Bringing back Sparano might help them build on that momentum as he has the players believing, however he was still 3-9.
Del Rio coming in should not tear up team chemistry too much. Former Raider Kirk Morrison already endorsed him as a player coach citing his straight forward and ability to relate to players as the reason Morrison enjoyed playing under him. This should connect Del Rio with the veteran Players like Charles Woodson, Justin Tuck, and Antonio Smith. His twelve years of journeymen experience in the NFL should help him mentor the young players too.
The fact that the Raiders have yet to hire a coach, even Sparano, proves they could have been waiting for Del Rio. Now that he is available, he is having a second interview which is a testament to his legitimacy. Eitherway, Jack Del Rio should become the 21st coach of the Oakland Raiders because there is no better candidate. Even if his hiring is a not a done deal, it should be.