The Oakland Raiders had their most successful season in 2016, winning 12 games and reaching the postseason for the first time since the 2002-03 season.
Unfortunately they were bit by the injury bug late, as quarterback Derek Carr went down with a broken fibula in Week 16, and Pr Bowl left tackle Donald Penn missed the first game of his 10-year career last Saturday in the Raiders wildcard matchup with the Houston Texans.
The Raiders lost the game, ending their season on a bit of a bitter note. It appeared they are already looking forward to next season though, as they are focused on their offseason needs.
A lot of those needs come on defense, as in 2016 the Raiders defense ranked 20th in the NFL at 24.1 points allowed per game. Additionally, they ranked 24th against the pass at 257.5 yards allowed per game and 23rd against the run at 117.6 yards.
To fix these issues, they are reportedly in talks with former Denver Broncos defensive coordinator Wade Phillips about bringing him in to the Raiders coaching staff, via Joe Arrigo of Scout Media:
I have learned that the #Raiders are in talks with former Broncos DC Wade Phillips for a role on the coaching staff.
— Joe Arrigo (@joearrigo) January 10, 2017
Phillips, 69, has been a coach in the NFL for 40 years and served as the Broncos defensive coordinator for the last two seasons. Both of those seasons the Broncos were among the best defenses in the league, and in 2016 they ranked fourth in both points and yards allowed in addition to giving up the least amount of passing yards per game by a wide margin.
If Phillips were to join the Raiders coaching staff it is unclear what role that will be in. The Raiders current defensive coordinator, Ken Norton Jr., has been with the team for two seasons and it has been reported in recent days that he will remain with the team.
Adding a defensive mind like Phillips can only help the Raiders struggling defense though, so it is something that should strongly be considered, and quick, because he likely will not be without a job for that long.