Madden On Del Rio: The Raiders “Needed An Adult In The Room”

Why are things so suddenly optimistic for the Raiders? Sam Farmer of the LA Times asked four former Raider greats (John Madden, Tim Brown, Rich Gannon, Howie Long) just that question. Most referenced the team’s improved roster, but Madden didn’t mention one player by name – instead, he went straight to the head coach.

“The Raiders needed an adult in the room,” Madden told the LA Times. “Jack became that guy, and you could tell it immediately.”

Madden talked about the changes Del Rio has brought to the culture in the locker room as well as the updated facilities – something Madden believes is absolutely essential to compete in today’s NFL.

Jack brought in a different way. Other people accepted, “Well that’s kind of the Raiders way,” and Jack came in and said, “No, that’s not the way you do pro football.” All the things that he changed needed to be changed, and they needed to be changed for a long time. So I think that got them on the right road. I don’t think anyone for a long time looked at their program and said, “Hell, we have to spruce this thing up a little bit.” He knew the difference between the reality of the Raiders and the myth. The reality of it was they weren’t playing tough. They weren’t doing all those things. Just by watching them you knew that at one point, historically, it was the truth that they were tough. But they had kind of lost that along the way.

From a leadership standpoint, Madden surely wasn’t referencing Raiders’ owner Mark Davis (his friend) or Reggie McKenzie (the general manager Madden recommended).

So who might he have been referencing? Former CEO of the Raiders, Amy Trask, might have given a hint earlier this week…

Her subsequent tweet added “my reference was to a very recent head coach – I’ve not shied away from so stating, clearly and directly…”

Any guesses as to whom she’s referring?

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