One of the primary questions with the Raiders looking at finding a head coach this off-season was whether they were more interested in hiring a head coach with a background on offense or a background on defense. Mark Davis revealed on Friday, in the Jack Del Rio press conference, that he was initially thinking offense, but Del Rio changed his mind.
"It's kind of funny. When we first had a talk about even having a meeting I told Jack I think I'm going to go in a different direction. I'm thinking about going more offensive with the head coach because we have the young quarterback. Jack said ‘wo, wo, wo. Stop. I know about offense as well.' When we met and he dissected the Raiders roster and was able to tell me about each offensive player and tell me how they ranked and how they did was pretty amazing to me that he had just spent a whole season up in Denver but knew our offensive roster as well as anybody. That showed me he's ready to do this. He's going to take that part of the anxiety out of me about going with another defensive coach."
Davis and Reggie McKenzie both said the Raiders were casting a wide net in their search for the team's next head coach. Among the candidates were mostly offensive guys including Jim Harbaugh, Pat Shurmur, Scott Linehan, Mike Shanahan, Pep Hamilton, Darrell Bevell, and of course, Tony Sparano. Del Rio was one of just two candidates to interview for the job with defensive roots along with Eric Mangini.
Part of Davis' reluctance to hire a defensive coach was likely the fact they just fired on in Dennis Allen and the Raiders offense has struggled for three seasons in part because of that hire. Prior to that, they had their most success in the past 12 years under offensive head coach, Hue Jackson, and Tom Cable before him.
It is pretty much a no-brainer that Del Rio would know a thing or two about the Raiders offense. He has had to scheme against them two times a season the past three years and he just faced them two games ago in the 2014 season finale. You likely won't find anyone on this planet who is more well-versed and p to date on the Raiders offense right now than Del Rio.
Still, being a head coach isn't about offense or defense. From here it will be about bringing in the right offensive coordinator so Del Rio can focus on his duties of leading an entire football team.