Before the last game of the 2017 season commences, the Oakland Raiders sit in the midst of uncertainty. Like most NFL teams that suffer a down season, change feels inevitable. While few speak of the forthcoming Chargers game, most will watch their phones to hear of firing. Granted, fans want Jack Del Rio to leave Oakland. However, with three seasons remaining on a deal, Mark Davis may not possess the wallet to accommodate. In return, Del Rio receives a one-year reprieve. With that said, Todd Downing is not long for Alameda. As a result, the one natural choice for Downing’s replacement is Dirk Koetter. Provided that Tampa Bay fires him first, Koetter should sit atop Del Rio’s short list.
Given that Koetter does not possess the flashy name, RaiderNation will frown upon this potential hire. What Koetter owns is history with Jack Del Rio. From 2007-2011, Koetter served under Del Rio as his offensive coordinator in Jacksonville. If Del Rio is really down to his big hire, chances remain he brings in a friendly face. Hiring Koetter brings a familiarity and comfort to the offense. In addition, he arrives with three separate stops as an NFL offensive coordinator.
During the research into Koetter’s offensive theory, his offensive theory should excite both the Raiders and fans alike. Koetter uses the Four Verticals theory. Now, that may sound like four wideouts running fly routes, but the name is a misnomer. If you watch Bucs and previously, Falcons film, you will see a difference. Koetter wants to force safeties to cover sideline to sideline with depth. Imagine Carr, with Cooper, Crabtree, Patterson, and Seth Roberts’ replacement lined up outside. Additionally, this offense can be tailored to fit what the Raiders employ personnel wise. Instead of the Downing’s dink-and dunk, the potential for a vertical offense exists. Koetter may not use this concept as the backbone of his Raiders scheme, but the ability will be there.
If the Bucs show Koetter the door in Tampa, part of it will be due to his relationship with Jameis Winston. Winston is the anti-Carr, behavior-wise. His impulsive temperament causing issues and down the line. Therefore, Koetter’s reputation is not spotless. On the other hand, looking at his pupils (Matt Ryan, David Garrard, Winston), you can see a definite improvement during his tenure.
Given these point, Dirk Koetter makes sense for the Raiders. Nevertheless, common sense recently avoided this organization. They hired Todd Downing to run a potent offense. Without delay, Koetter gives the Raiders stability they seek on offense. For Jack Del Rio, the move presents a safe bet. Conversely, if Koetter gets the job and fails, Del Rio’s days with the Raiders will end. Time will tell how Del Rio plays it.