Jack Del Rio And Norton Jr. Coached Effort But Weren’t Very “Hands On” Coaches

There was a lot that went wrong with the Raiders in 2017. The offense fell off a cliff and the defense never got in any traction in three years under Jack Del Rio.

Another disappointing element of Del Rio’s tenure was his failure to develop draft picks – particularly on the defensive side of the ball.

The Athletic’s Vic Tafur hinted at what might have been a contributing factor to the Raiders lack of player development in recent year.

“Norton and head coach Jack Del Rio were big effort guys the last three years, and not very hands on at practice,” Tafur said. “The team didn’t get a lot of out its draft picks the last three years and general manager Reggie McKenzie is hoping that changes with Gruden and Guenther, and that those players weren’t just bad picks.”

Reading between the lines some, it sounds like Del Rio and Norton weren’t great teachers and maybe (we’ll find out soon) were responsible for the lack of development from young players.

From the time they arrived, the Raiders never fielded the most sophisticated defensive schemes, but players still struggled to execute.

In 2016 and 2017, Reggie McKenzie drafted defensive players in each of the first three rounds and none have made a significant impact to this point.

Injuries certainly contributed, but too many young players seemed to fall out of favor with Del Rio right out of the gate.

If all goes as planned, Jon Gruden and defensive coordinator Paul Guenther can change the culture in Oakland and get a little more from the young players than effort – though in some cases, it seemed the like previous regime had trouble even getting that.

twitter: @raidersbeat


1 thought on “Jack Del Rio And Norton Jr. Coached Effort But Weren’t Very “Hands On” Coaches

  1. You could tell by the way players always seemed to get caught “with their pants down” that KNJ and JDR weren’t teaching them their respective roles properly, which would seem typical of 2 “rah rah” coaches without a schemer to keep the players in line and execute properly.

    Make no mistake, the problem last year wasnt a lack of talent. It was a lack of proper scheming, game planning, and use of players skillets that held both sides of the ball back last year.

    JDR is self destructive, which is the only explanation why he’d let a top 5 offense coordinating OC just walk in favor of KNJ 2.0, especially after how badly the KNJ experiment 1.0 turned out.

    Carr’s back injury certainly didn’t help, but 95% of the offensive struggles last year were self inflicted; changing the biggest OL in the NFL from a power scheme to outside zone blocking for no apparent reason, using mostly short passes and handing the ball off causing defenses to stack the box, only to NOT use play action (which makes absolutely no sense).

    It literally set the offense up to fail, forcing them into an “every down is like 3rd and long” situation. No offense would be successful running a system like that. None.

    Most of the problems could have been solved simply by using play action more often, which would have forced defenses to cover the whole field, opening up the running game and short passes TD loved so much.

    Thankfully Gruden is back, and while I was never a huge Greg Olsen fan, I think his newfound knowledge gained from working with Goff and McVey can mesh well with Grudens philosophies and create an offense best suited to Carr’s (and everyone else’s) abilities.

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