Derrick Ansley proved to be an outstanding hire for the Oakland Raiders

(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

In his first stint in the NFL, defensive backs coach Derrick Ansley proved to be a valuable staffer for the Oakland Raiders in 2018.

The 2018 Oakland Raiders struggled mightily on both sides of the ball, as they failed to pay consistent football for most of the year. On defense, the Raiders had their deficiencies on all three levels of the defense, but one area in particular showed incredible growth over the 16-game season.

Coming into the season, there were plenty of question marks in the secondary, as the team’s previous two first round picks had yet to find their stride at the NFL level. Karl Joseph (2016) and Gareon Conley (2017) were going into big years, and there was a real chance new head coach Jon Gruden would move on from them if they did not step up.

Luckily for both Joseph and Conley, the Raiders made a stellar coaching hire at the defensive back coach spot, bringing in former Alabama defensive backs coach Derrick Ansley. In his first stint at the NFL level, Ansley showed he has the chops to be a big-time coach, and really turned around both first rounders careers.

Ansley came to the Raiders after 13 seasons in college football, most recently at Alabama, where he got to groom NFLers Minkah Fitzpatrick, and Ronnie Harrison. With Oakland, he not only turned around Joseph and Conley, but helped develop guys like Erik Harris, Daryl Worley, and Nick Nelson, three players who are going to be keys to the Raiders success moving forward.

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Of course, there is the possibility that Ansley heads back to  the college ranks for next season, as he has been rumored to be in line for the defensive coordinator job at Georgia. Gruden was excited when the Raiders signed Ansley, and for good reason, as he proved to be the best assistant coach the team  had during the 2018 season.