With the hiring of Ken Norton Jr. as defensive coordinator, the Raiders have filled out their coaching ranks. The DC position was the last to be designated, as all of the other coaching positions have been filled for several weeks. Norton was the linebackers coach for Seattle, so the Raiders had to wait until after the Super Bowl to talk to him.
So far, I think the coaching staff hires have been an upgrade overall, and I definitely like Jack Del Rio’s gung-ho attitude. Obviously, most new coaches say and do many of the same things to motivate fans, but Del Rio has the track record as a head coach, as well as the pedigree of a local guy and second-generation Raiders fan.
What it will really come down to is how much of an upgrade Bill Musgrave and Ken Norton are at their respective OC/DC positions. Musgrave has most recently been QB coach in Chip Kelly’s uptempo Philly offense, and that can bring real value to Derek Carr’s development, provided the team can give him better receivers to work with.
More importantly on offense, getting the historically awful running game moving, primarily along the o-line, will be key to opening up the passing game. New o-line coach Mike Tice will help tremendously in that area, as will moving RG Austin Howard out to tackle, his natural position. Menelik Watson might be better served moving in to guard.
We’ll take a look at free agency and draft options in the weeks to come.