The Oakland Raiders find themselves floundering in the middle of the 2017 NFL season. The Raiders have not looked like the offensive juggernaut most expected them to be and it is costing them games most weeks.
However, the defense has been the team’s biggest issue throughout the year as Oakland has struggled to stop opponents from scoring. As a result, defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. was relieved from his duties.
According to Matt Schneidman of Mercury News, Jack Del Rio explained his rationale:
I’ll just hit the obvious question on Kenny since I haven’t seen you guys,” Del Rio said. “I just felt that a change was needed. It wasn’t easy to do. In fact, it was very difficult to do. I really felt like I needed to shake things up. We couldn’t continue doing what we’ve been doing to this point. I made the call.”
The Raiders needed to change something and letting go of Norton appeared to be Del Rio’s way of injecting some energy into the team. However, the defensive issues extended beyond Norton as the secondary has been decimated by injuries throughout the 2017 NFL season.
Regardless, John Pagano now has the responsibility of managing the defense and it remains to be seen how well he can do. The Raiders have a huge opportunity to reestablish themselves in Week 12 against the Denver Broncos.