Imagine If The Raiders Had Kept Bill Musgrave, Hired Wade Phillips

As the Raiders season begins to more quickly circle the drain, it’s fair to wonder what could have been.

For example, where would the team be right now had they kept Bill Musgrave as offensive coordinator? Even better, what if the Raiders had kept Musgrave and parted ways with Ken Norton Jr. instead?

Remember the Raiders reached out to Wade Phillips after last season but were reportedly only interested in offering him a role similar to what John Pagano currently has with the team (whatever that is).

The Raiders offense presumably wouldn’t have gone haywire with Musgrave still at the wheel and Phillips couldn’t possibly have done worse than what’s going on right now with the Oakland defense.

A new defensive coordinator would have made sense after last season, but nothing about the way the offense performed a year ago suggested that the Raiders needed to change course. Reports indicated that the Raiders were afraid of losing Todd Downing to another team, but what exactly would have happened if he made the Raiders offense even better (you know, like 40 points per game)?

Hint: (They still would have lost him).

Now Musgrave has been promoted to offensive coordinator in Denver (probably in part because he looks like a genius for what he was able to do in Oakland) and the Raiders may lose Downing because if the season ended today, how exactly could anyone justify leaving him in his current role?

It’s one thing to fail to improve a unit. It’s another thing to take one of the best offenses in the league and turn it into a dumpster fire – which is what the Raiders are on offense right now.

If only the Raiders had fixed what was broken in the offseason and left well enough alone…

twitter: @raidersbeat


5 thoughts on “Imagine If The Raiders Had Kept Bill Musgrave, Hired Wade Phillips

  1. You didn’t meantion the name Jack Del Rio but I will. The man is the definition of mediocrity and has a huge ego. He is the reason they have the two worse coordinators in the league! He can’t possible think Norton Jr gives the defense there best chance to win. And he has to see the regression of the offense! The man is a coach who strength is to get a team from bad to average ie what Mark Jackson did. But to take another step up you need to upgrade the head coach.

  2. That’s Jack Del Rio for you . He didn’t want Phillips in complete control of the defense because Phillips doesn’t put up with meddling . Much like Buddy Ryan , the defense is his and his alone . Del Rio’s ego couldn’t allow that . I know he had his differences with Musgrave as did we as fans , his play design was brilliant but his play calling was sometimes head scratching , but he was an experienced OC . Downing is in over his head and the team can’t afford for him to take his lumps while he learns on the fly . The window of opportunity an NFL team gets only stays open for a short time and by keeping Norton despite the fact he has proven for 3 years that he can’t get it done and handing the keys to the offense to a novice , Del Rio has shrunken that window for Oakland . They now have to learn a new defense during a time when ( with a new DC this year ) they should be coming into their own . They also now have to let Downing and his offense go through growing pains for what could be another year unless they fire him at season’s end . I don’t think last season’s 12 – 4 was a fluke . I think they earned that record mainly on the strength of Musgrave’s offense . With him and a better DC , they might be keeping pace with KC right now instead on languishing at 4-6 . The scary thing about this situation is that they are saddled with Del Rio for 4 more years because he was foolishly given a new contract based solely on 1 good year . Yes the team did improve in his first year but what he did for them in no way warranted a 4 year extension , especially when he wasn’t in a contract year . As long as his ego is driving the bus , it will end up in a ditch the way it has this year . He will consistently hire inferior staff he can control and who can’t teach well enough to get the most out of his players . It should be obvious to anyone who follows Oakland that they are losing mainly because they are out coached in every contest . The team is undisciplined and that , in my opinion is a direct reflection on the head coach . For example , why is Reggie Nelson still starting ? There are younger players who can’t possibly be any worse than Nelson . They’ll make mistakes but at least their athleticism can mask some of those mistakes until they learn .

  3. it was puzzling and troubling the Raiders left Ken Norton Jr in as DC after last season but moved on from Musgrave. Self sabotage is the phrase that quickly comes to mind.

  4. Why did they ruin a good thing. Last year the defense was the achilles heel. We were set, but we needed a wade phillips because the KNJ experiment is a bloody failure. Lynch appears to be a gimmick rather than the player we hoped for. As a fan, it’s disheartening to revert back to another losing season. We have the tools, but we need the coaches to get us there. Unfortunately the coaches we need are are not on our sideline. JDR must do something because hope isn’t winning games.

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