With the summer officially underway, the timetable for the Las Vegas Raiders to retake the field seems further away. As a result, stories, whether tangentially related to the Silver and Black or football in general, remain a viable option.
JDR Sounds Off
Normally, we attempt to leave politics at the door. Well, I should emphasize the word try. If you don’t know, former Raiders Head Coach Jack Del Rio took to Twitter on Tuesday to air his support for the current administration. Now, if we look deeper into the situation, free of political bias, one thing leaps to mind. Jack Del Rio showed the same lack of attention he did to coaching as he did in his tweetstorm. First, Del Rio retweeted a purposefully false tweet that did not need much research to debunk. Next, he felt emboldened to use nationalistic language towards a comment. That, in itself, depends on interpretation.
If you follow my Twitter feed, you are already aware. This is more about Del Rio and his boldness. Where was this during his tenure as the head coach in Oakland? Save for flashes, Del Rio coasted his way through games. In fact, the season that the Raiders made the playoffs, fans saw an animated head coach, testing defenses.
Years earlier in Jacksonville, that fanbase saw something similar. What is the connection? Each time, Del Rio entered the final year of his contract. Essentially, he walked the dangerous playcalling line with money on the table. Once he secured the security of a long-term deal, Del Rio became comfortable. In two NFL stops, he looked to coast after inking the big deal. If you’re honest, the Raiders haven’t been the same since 2016. In fact, the statistics bear that out.
Now, when some of his players decided to kneel in Washington on a Sunday night. The players appeared to show solidarity. If you watch camera cuts, you can tell there seemed something amiss. Now, the easy target here is Derek Carr for not kneeling, but let’s focus on Del Rio. If you fast forward to the Dallas game, listen to the NBC telecast, The announcers mention Del Rio dealing with ” a bad element around the team” Why is he talking about this? That always seemed rather off for a coach.
Now, we’ve chided Derek Carr for the longest time for his ” aw, shucks” demeanor. Yet, why did it seem like Del Rio placed losses at the feet of his quarterback, at every turn? Now, Carr did perform poorly in spots. Yet, this wasn’t solely his fault. If you remember, Del Rio fired Bill Musgrave after a 12-4 season, bringing in Todd Downing. A nightmarish scenario for the Raiders. The offense stalled repeatedly and looked ill-equipped. Blame Carr for the throws. Assign fault to Del Rio for placing a novice playcaller at the helm of an offense.
In all honesty, Jack Del Rio should enjoy his duty as the defensive coordinator in Washington. Granted, he should never see the head coach spot again. His Twitter uproar, regardless of leanings, just illustrated that Mark Davis ultimately made the smart move. The Raiders benefit from his absence. Maya Angelou said it best: When someone tells you who they are, believe them.