With the Oakland Raiders holding on to the slimmest of playoff hopes, off-season changes are due. First, offensive coordinator Todd Downing will probably not return to Oakland. In 2017, the offense regressed this season.  The question of who should fill the vacancy remains intriguing.

Pep Hamilton

Current Job: Assistant Head Coach, Passing Game Coordinator, University of Michigan

Upside: Hamilton interviewed for the Raiders head coaching position in 2014. Ultimately, McKenzie hired Del Rio, but some familiarity exists between McKenzie and Hamilton. He served as the Colts’ offensive coordinator for three seasons, Guiding Andrew Luck to successful seasons to begin his NFL career. Hamilton communicates well with the offense and people describe him as aggressive, innovative, and open-minded.

Downside: Jack Del Rio strikes many as inflexible, slow to change and resistant to philosophy switches. Could he allow Hamilton to have full control of the offense? Probably not. In addition, Hamilton and Del Rio interviewed for the same job. If McKenzie granted Hamilton, an interview three seasons ago, could Del Rio co-exist with someone that could ultimately take his job?

Right Move?

Yes, in a heartbeat. Although Hamilton earns million dollars currently at Michigan, the opportunity to sit one spot away from the top job could prove tempting. Additionally, Ohio State isn’t on the Raiders schedule.

John DeFilippo

Current Job: Philadelphia Eagles Quarterbacks Coach

Upside: Two stints as the Raiders quarterbacks coach should open eyes. In addition, when the team selected Derek carr in 2014, DeFilippo served as his first position coach. In that case, a previous relationship exists DeFilippo worked with offenses. Unlike Downing, DeFilippo worked in Cleveland as an offensive coordinator. Somehow, he extracted a four thousand total yards from the trio of Manziel, McCown and Austin Davis.

Downside: To the untrained eye, DeFilippo  possesses the Downing traits. He’s young, quarterback friendly, and remains close to Derek Carr.

Smart Move: Completely. DeFilippo, through his days in Cleveland and Philadelphi could return to Oakland as a seasoned coach. Spending time in Philadelphia around Doug Pederson and Frank reich taught DeFilippo to take aggressive chances vertically and challenge defenses. Moreover, DeFilippo brings a technical knowledge of the game. However, he knows that his offense must score. Expect a new version of Carr.





Mike Sullivan

Current Job: New York Giants offensive coordinator

Upside: Sullivan brings championship experience with him. Winning two Super Bowl as the wide receivers and quarterbacks coach gives him credibility. In addition, when Ben McAdoo ceded playcalling, Sullivan showed willingness to pound the ball and scheme to players. The Raiders current offense operates backwards. With Jamize Olawale wasting away on the sidelines, Sullivan would use a lead blocker.

Downside: People will see the Giants’ season and blame every coach. Instead, the fault resides with Ben McAdoo. Sullivan’s image could be tainted because of his current job. While talent exists, would the Raiders hire a coach from a team that will lose 12 games?

Right Move?

Possibly. If Del Rio stays away from the offense. With Sullivan and Mike Tice, the offense would transform into a consistent mix of heavy run game mixed with vertical capability. During his tenure as a head coach, Jack Del Rio shows a love of pounding the ball.


In reality, the Raiders need a sound playcaller with nerve. Todd Downing likes to attempt cute schemes. Down nineteen in Kansas City, Crabtree catches a screen. Equally important, a new coordinator must form an offense around the talent employed. By the same token, the Raiders have talent. However, zero identity exists. If they ever hope for deep playoff run, now is the time.


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