10 Years From Now:
Both of my kids will be out of my house and out of college.
We will have a couple new Presidents.
There will be cars that fly.
Robots will be taking over the world.
10 years is a long time but, it is really a long time for a head coach; ANY head coach. Especially in the NFL, where it is a “what have you done for me lately” business.
There have only been two NFL coaches to sign 10-year contracts before “Chucky”; Tom Landry in 1964, and most recently, Jimmy Johnson in 1989. Both Landry and Johnson have two Super Bowl rings to their name.
I am on record as saying “only smart people know Jack Del Rio isn’t getting fired”. I guess I am no Einstein as it was reported on Friday when I wrote this, that the Oakland raiders will sign Jon Gruden to a 10 year deal worth $100 Million Dollars.
When Did Mark Make the Call to Gruden?
Was it after Washington? KC? Dallas? Philly? Most of us on the blog, knew that Jack lost this team and “mojo” during the season. Double digit losses on the road, where we didn’t even get off the plane was a huge issue for this team and that falls on the head coach.
Mark got real serious about brining in Gruden after the Pats game. The week after our bye we got humiliated on National TV to the Super Bowl champs. Everyone hyped us up last year as the team that could beat New England.
Maybe in 2016 when we went 12-4 and most of us agreed we arrived a bit early, that was a road block in hiring Gruden. You cant’ fire Jack after a 12-4 season. Maybe it was a blessing in disguise that we fell to 6-10 and Mark showed Jack the plank.
Dialing Up the Past
We all know Mark has wanted Gruden back as the head coach of The Silver & Black since he inherited the team from his father, the Late Al Davis. Since Mark has taken control of the team, his biggest moves have come from reaching out to his father’s past. First, he consulted John Madden and Ron Wolfe which led him to hire Reggie McKenzie. Jack Del Rio sold Mark the idea that it was Jack’s dream to become the head coach of the team he grew up cheering for.
The local kid from The East Bay, took over this downtrodden franchise and brought us back to respectability. Let us NOT forget how exciting the 2016 season was; for that Jack we thank you. Now, he is going back to the last time this franchise was considered a legitimate SB Contender.
From 2000-2002, our beloved Raiders, lost to the eventual SB winners 3 years in a row to end their season, Baltimore in 2000, the Patriots in 2001, then ironically to Gruden’s TB team in the Super Bowl in 2002. The last time the Gruden and the Raiders both won a playoff game was in January of 2003, 15 years ago.
Expectations and Change
Now with guaranteed stability at the head coaching position, we are going to see some major changes to this roster and to the culture. There was so much drama this year. I have a feeling Gruden is going to weed out the guys he knows quit on this team during the season.
Probably the biggest change will be with the relationship coach has with our quarerback. Derek is going to pushed and challenged like he never has before. Like Rich Gannon says, “No one is better at coaching the QB position than Jon Gruden”. Can a soft spoken Derek Carr deal with the pressure? Looks like he is aware of the situation by his tweet below…
There are Currently Only 7 of these Guys in the NFL:
Belicheck, Tomlin, Payton, McCarthy, Harbaugh, Carrol , and now Gruden are the only current coaches that have won a chip. Coaching, especially in the NFL, matters more than any sport.
It is NO coincidence that 6 of the 7 longest tenured coaches currently are all SB winners, with the only exception Marvin Lewis. The expectation has to be that we get at least 1 SB victory with Jon, and multiple division titles and playoff appearances. Anything less would be a MAJOR disappointment.
10 years from now a lot can happen in our lives and this World. Hopefully for Raider Nation, we can get back to a period where we are looked at as one of the top teams in the League. Mark Davis had to go back into the past to create the brightest future for the Silver & Black.
Written by: 303Raider