There was an interesting development this past weekend with regard to the Las Vegas Raiders and their coaching staff. Coming off another highly underwhelming defensive effort in 2022, Frank Okam was relieved of his duties. Okam, for his part, lasted just one season with the Silver and Black.
Originally, Okam held the same title with the Carolina Panthers prior to joining the Raiders. A former fifth-round pick for the Houston Texans, Okam played four seasons in the NFL before joining the coaching ranks.
Much to the chagrin of many in Raider Nation, defensive coordinator Patrick Graham isn’t going anywhere. The Raiders had some pretty dismal performances under Graham last season. On two occasions, Graham’s units surrendered more than 200 yards on the ground to opponents. In addition, opponents tallied more than 100 rushing yards in nine games. The passing defense was no better either. There were seven instances in which opposing quarterbacks threw for two or more touchdowns, for a total of seven times. Clearly, this wasn’t a respectable group. It didn’t take a genius to figure out that Okam was simply the fall guy in this situation.
The Raiders’ defensive line had a lot of hype and promise heading into last season. That was especially true with the addition of Chandler Jones. However, the buildup didn’t deliver. The entire group accumulated just 21.5 sacks last season. Despite a few promising outings, other than Maxx Crosby, the season was largely forgettable. You could certainly make the argument that the defensive coaching staff as a whole was a disappointment. Even so, it’s no surprise that head coach Josh McDaniels and, to a larger extent, the rest of the staff got more than one year to turn things around. Regardless, such a poor outing in 2022 commanded that someone take the fall. Frank Okam’s replacement is likely already on the team in the form of Rob Ryan and Matt Edwards.
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