When the Oakland Raiders were in search of a new head coach after the conclusion of the 2014 season, they were in search of a coach who could transform his personnel and the culture of the organization. So when general manager Reggie McKenzie took a gamble of Jack Del Rio, he understood what the coach was capable of doing.
In his first season, Del Rio led the Raiders to an 8-8 record, a .500 record that was a promising first step in his first season with the Raiders. Del Rio connected with all the players on his roster, established a relationship that is needed on the NFL level.
Then came his second season, in which the Raiders would take a huge leap towards their return to greatness. Del Rio’s roster was fully invested in his culture, as they engulfed the business-like mentality. Upon the conclusion of each contest, Del Rio always stated that the Raiders always respect their opponents, but never fear them.
During the regular season, Del Rio was never afraid of gambling on his team. During many crucial moments during Derek Carr’s seven comeback victories this season, Del Rio gambled on fourth down on his team and was rewarded with victories.
That confidence in his team is what the top-tier NFL coaches have. After the completion of his first two seasons, it seems as though the organization is in contract extension talks with Del Rio, via Jason La Canfora:
Raiders will start negotiations on a contract extension for Jack Del Rio this week I'm told. I don't imagine that process takes very long
— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) January 22, 2017
In his second season, he led the Raiders to their first winning record and playoff birth since 2002, as the team went 12-4 this season, clinching a postseason birth well before the conclusion of the regular season.
Although their season was cut short of their goals, Del Rio stated how pleased he was with the way his team fought until the end.
Upon losing their leader in Carr, the Raiders dropped out of a first-round bye and lost to the Houston Texans in the AFC Wildcard round, but the defeat only emphasized what the team is capable of when they have Carr under center for Del Rio.
At the conclusion of the season, Del Rio made one final comment on the whereabouts of the Raiders organization. With all the progress that has been made in just two seasons here, the Raiders now hold themselves to higher standards, as the organization seeks out higher goals.