Jack Del Rio Lost The Raiders And Here’s How He Did It
A lot went well for Jack Del Rio in his first two seasons with the Raiders.
The truth is, Del Rio did a lot to change the culture in Oakland and he was better than anything the Raiders had experienced in years.
Del Rio’s issue was that he simply couldn’t sustain it.
Del Rio brought discipline when he arrived in Oakland, but some believe he took his foot off the gas after getting the offseason contract extension.
It wasn’t uncommon, I’ve been told, for Del Rio to be hard-nosed with less prominent players and in the next breath take a light-hearted approach to mistakes made by better-known players on the roster.
Long before players became uncomfortable with Del Rio, it seems Del Rio had gotten too comfortable with too many of the players.
To make matters worse, players like Michael Crabtree fell out of favor with coaches and slipped into some of the bad habits they hadn’t shown in years.
And he wasn’t the only one.
Slowly there became a mess to clean up and it was clear Del Rio wasn’t the man to clean it up – in part because the mess was created right under his nose.
There was no conspiracy theory that sunk the Raiders season – it was simply a youthful roster that wasn’t ready to take the next step without strong leadership from the coaching ranks.
Del Rio deserved a bit friendlier departure, but the decision by Davis to move on was a wise one.
After a season without Bill Musgrave, the Raiders needed a schematic upgrade, but as much as anything, they needed a head coach who could bring back the discipline Del Rio had let slip away.
Jon Gruden was the perfect pick to bring back both.