The 2017 season for the Oakland Raiders officially came to a depressing close as they lost their last four games. It didn’t take long to find some renewed excitement regarding the team’s off-season and future into 2018 and beyond.
This Raiders season revealed the obvious lack of team discipline. From the various player suspensions to players taking to social media calling out the staff.
It didn’t take long to give Raider Nation some resurging excitement as head coach Jack Del Rio was fired immediately following the final game versus the Chargers. This was only just a season after being granted an extension.
It was rather telling that this team lacked leadership from both coaching and players on the field. The playoff door was held-open for much longer than it should have and the Raiders still squandered away the opportunity with puzzling efforts, lacking any polished execution. The missed opportunities certainly have a played a role in Jon Gruden’s potential return.
The “Grumors” had been swirling around the faucets of sports reporting leading up to the final contest. We’ve all heard them before, it seems to be almost an annual theme for Raider Nation, just something to roll your eyes at. Now they’ve taken fire and perhaps, this offseason might actually see the return of Gruden.
2017 Raiders Coaching Staff Woes
Depending on how you feel about the Gruden rumors, either way, you can thank the 2017 Raiders coaching staff for unraveling throughout the season for it. First-time offensive coordinator Todd Downing paired with offensive line coach Mike Tice mishandled a very talented unit.
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The offensive numbers declined drastically from 2016 while constantly suffering fundamental miscues on the field each week. Organizationally speaking, these mishaps weren’t handled well and it only hurt Carr’s ability perform at the elite level that he was paid to do.
Then it was the odd retention of yet another former first-time coordinator in defensive coach Ken Norton Jr. Norton had been leading a struggling defensive unit since arriving in Oakland but was still given the go in 2017. The poor performances continued and eventually gave way to his firing and the promotion of John Pagano to take over for the latter part of the season.
In the midst of all of the presented struggles, Del Rio did his fair share of finger-pointing and passively dodging from his personal accountability and involvement in the seasons’ many low moments. Del Rio’s urgency for clock management in-game appeared to be non-existent and his risk-taking “Black Jack” persona ultimately backfired. In the end, he was relieved of his duties.
Very few players had any sort of sympathy in response to his firing, perhaps a telling sign that Mark Davis did the right thing.