Has Jack Del Rio Gone Soft On Discipline In Oakland?
After suffering what was probably the most embarrassing loss of the season in Mexico, it’s time to push the panic button in Oakland.
They’re still in the playoff hunt, but if you’ve watched the Raiders, it’s clear they look nothing like a playoff team. The regression continued against the Patriots on Sunday and even head coach Jack Del Rio can’t seem to articulate the problem.
As much as anything else, the Raiders have lost discipline. The schemes aren’t anything to be excited about, but mistakes are what’s crushing the Raiders chances every week and for whatever reason, the coaching staff can’t seem to clean up the mess.
The best example from week 11 involved wide receiver Seth Roberts. Del Rio acknowledged that ball security was addressed with Roberts this week in practice, yet Roberts was entirely reckless with the ball on Sunday.
“That ball was loose in practice during the week and it was addressed during the week,” Del Rio said Monday on 95.7 The Game’s The Damon Bruce Show. “[We] don’t want to get an ‘I told you so’ on Sunday, but that’s a little bit of what it was.”
And this is where you wonder if the coaches are getting through to the players and what consequences the players are facing after making mistakes.
Even before he fumbled to close the half, Roberts was guilty of a false start and dropped a sure first-down reception to stall the first drive of the game.
The second-half consequence for Roberts was essentially a reward. His playing time didn’t decrease and he actually led the Raiders in targets (8) after the half.
Meanwhile on the opposite sideline, a first quarter fumble by Rex Burkhead (who was coming off a career game the week before) essentially banished the Patriots running back to the sideline for the remainder of the game.
For years, the term “execution” has been thrown around by coaches in Oakland and it’s been a big problem for the Raiders again this year. Players talk every week about eliminating mistakes, but it’s fair to wonder if they’re not being effectively motivated by Del Rio and his coaching staff to avoid those mistakes in the first place.