Get out your torches and pitchforks, Raider Nation. Notorious East Coast bias perpetuator USA Today has released a ranking of all 32 NFL head coaches, and Jack Del Rio comes in at 24th. Does this seem low to you? It does to me at first glance, but let's examine the evidence.
1) Del Rio has a career record of 68-71 with the Jaguars, and 7-9 with the Raiders for a total of 75-80. That's not exactly top-shelf stuff, even accounting for the depleted rosters the Raiders and Jaguars were sporting. Consider that we all think of Jeff Fisher as a mediocre coach at best, but he sports an overall record of 169-156.
2) Del Rio was hired as Raiders coach mainly on the strength of his work as Broncos defensive coordinator- a Broncos defense with which noted buffoon Wade Phillips won the Super Bowl while Del Rio did not.
If we are honest with ourselves here, Del Rio is beloved by Raider fans because he is not Dennis Allen and because he is a Raider fan from childhood and has the same sentiment toward the team that we all do. He's brought stability and professionalism to the team and has installed a winning mindset. Not one of these things has actually translated into a winning season or a playoff run as of yet.
Del Rio is getting credit for things the Raiders haven't done yet. We're all expecting great success from the Raiders this season, and if they do then Del Rio will have been a big part of that. As of right now, however, giving Del Rio props for what the Raiders will do in 2016 is like giving John Kennedy credit for all the things America would have done if he hadn't got shot.
The real tragedy of this list is all the total dweeb coaches that surround Del Rio on it. He's sandwiched between Jeff Fisher and Mike McCoy, and Jim Caldwell and Dan Quinn. I'm pretty sure Del Rio is better than all of those guys. Next year Del Rio has a pretty strong chance to be in the Top 12 of this list after he goes 12-4 and wins the AFC, but let's not go storming the USA Today offices just yet.
Here's the complete list of ranked coaches, for science: