With Jack Del Rio in Oakland, New Coordinators Will Be Vital to Raiders’ Success

Now that the Oakland Raiders have finalized a deal to make Jack Del Rio their head coach, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the task of turning around a moribund franchise enters another phase of a 13-year process. The goal is to get back to the playoffs and contend for championships, but at 3-13 in 2014, the Raiders have a long way to go.

For the Raiders to get there, they must hire top assistant coaches to maximize and develop the talent they have. The role of the two coordinators in Oakland’s turnaround will be nearly as important as general manager Reggie McKenzie’s and Del Rio’s.

The most important job of the coordinators will be the task of continuing the development of quarterback Derek Carr, linebacker Khalil Mack and the other young talent on the roster. The offensive coordinator will be particularly important because Del Rio comes from a defensive background.

Although many consider Carr the future in Oakland, his rookie year was far from perfect. Carr needs to take the next step for the Raiders to get where they want to go. The offensive coordinator—with an assist from the quarterbacks coach—is going to be directly responsible for Carr dragging Oakland’s offense out of the dregs of the league in offensive output.  

One of the biggest selling points of hiring Del Rio aside from his head coaching experience was that he was well-connected. Several high-profile coordinator candidates have already emerged on Del Rio’s wish list, which is exciting for Raiders fans because the team has never really had big-name coordinators.

The obvious Plan A for the Raiders at defensive coordinator is former Atlanta Falcons head coach Mike Smith. Del Rio has known Smith for years, and he was Del Rio’s defensive coordinator in Jacksonville from 2003-2007 before landing the top job with the Atlanta Falcons. Smith also worked with Del Rio from 1999-2001 with the ...

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