Immediately following the Raiders’ season-ending loss to the Chargers in Los Angeles, Mark Davis made a bee line to head coach Jack Del Rio to tell him he was being let go, and left the stadium shortly thereafter. It was so sudden his official statement wasn’t released until over two hours later.
“We appreciate Jack’s effort in building the foundation of this team for the future,” said Davis in a statement. “Thank you to Jack, his wife, Linda, and his daughter, Aubrey, for their important contributions to the Raiders and our local community in Oakland. We wish them all the best.”
Del Rio made the announcement in his postgame press conference, having addressed the team and spoken with Davis — though we don’t know which came first.
“I feel like today was a microcosm of our year,” said Del Rio. “The opportunities, lack of production, not good enough. Really, kind of disappointing. That’s what our year was, disappointing.
“I spoke with Mark Davis after the game and Mark let me know he’s not going to be bringing me back. He told me he loved me and appreciated all I did to put this program in the right direction. He told me he wanted to make a change. I told him how much I appreciated the opportunity he gave me. I mean that. Very grateful. They’re my childhood team, but it’s a results business and I understand that.
“I appreciate the players and coaches and all the hard work, all the effort and energy. I do believe that we have established a solid nucleus. Whoever comes in here has a chance to take that nucleus and go to special places, and I’ll be pulling for them.”
The Raiders finished 6-10 just a season after Del Rio coached them to a 12-4 mark and their first trip to the postseason in 14 years. Del Rio went 25-23 in three seasons as Raiders head coach.
The firing comes amid reports that Jon Gruden is being aggressively courted to take over as Raiders head coach. With this news, one would figure it won’t be long before we find out what Mark Davis’s thinking is.