Oakland Raiders Have Right Coach In Del Rio, Says John Madden


May 26, 2015; Alameda, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders coach Jack Del Rio at press conference at organized team activities at the Raiders practice facility. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Despite being retired for nearly four decades and being more known for his broadcasting than his time on the sidelines, John Madden is still arguably one of the greatest Oakland Raiders head coaches in franchise history. Guiding the team to great heights in the 70’s before abruptly calling it quits in 1978. Posting a 76.3 winning percentage and losing just 32 regular season games along with posting a winning postseason record of 9-7 in his distinguished head coaching career, Madden was as successful as anyone who was hired by the Davis family to call the plays on the sidelines for the Silver and Black.

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That connection to coaching the Raiders along with being one of the most famous former broadcasters in the football world makes Madden’s opinion one that is sought after whenever the team makes a move, particularly at head coach where Oakland brought in Jack Del Rio this offseason to right the ship as part of the team’s rebuilding project. A hire that Madden approves of as a fan of Del Rio’s background and philosophy.

Madden was asked about his opinion on the Del Rio hire recently and said that the former Jaguars head coach is the right fit for the franchise. Noting that he can help Derek Carr’s development by giving the quarterback a dominant defense and will also be a coach who won’t sell the Raiders mystique unless the players wearing the uniforms live up to that reputation that was earned decades ago.

From Raiders.com

"On the Raiders and Head Coach Jack Del Rio:Madden: “Jack Del Rio is the right coach for them. He understands you can help a quarterback as much by building a defense as you can by getting him a receiver. He’s going to make them legitimate. They lived on the myth that the Raiders are tough and all that for a long time, when they weren’t. Jack sees through that myth.”"

It remains to be seen if Del Rio can make the Raiders legitimate right away, but his successes with the small market Jaguars shows that if the head coach can develop a team with the right mentality he can create playoff runs out of rosters that are limited in star talent. Those types of seasons are the marks of good head coaches who can rebuild franchises, which is what Del Rio needs to do in Oakland if his hire is going to be deemed as a success. John Madden feels that is likely to happen based on Del Rio’s qualifications, which bodes well for the Raiders if it happens. No coach since Jon Gruden and Bill Callahan able to guide the Raiders to the postseason making the franchise desperate for a head coach to lead them to the promised land putting the pressure on Del Rio to turnaround a team with plenty of heartache in recent years.