It wasn’t hard to tell, especially after the Week 3 loss to the Washington Redskins, that something about the Oakland Raiders was off. But a few leaks have recently surfaced painting a clearer picture of how it went south for the once Super Bowl hopeful Raiders.
One of the major issues, pointed out by the Athletic’s Vic Tafur, surrounded running back Marshawn Lynch who seemed to get a free-pass from Jack Del Rio to do basically whatever Lynch pleased.
“Lynch participated in practice every day. But he made sure to walk over and chat up his personal video team during sessions.”
The controversial running back also sat for every national anthem and got thrown out of a football game without ever experiencing any backlash from Del Rio, creating a double standard between Lynch and the rest of the team.
Tafur also noted that Lynch’s joking around, which often was at the expense of Carr, could have hurt Carr’s leadership status in the locker room.
The Lynch situation along with the staff failing to suspend Johnny Holton for smacking a Patriots player and allowing Michael Crabtree to get in a fight with Aqib Talib proved that this Raiders’ coaching staff didn’t have anyone to stand up and lead in tough times.
The lack of discipline was so bad that NaVorro Bowman, who came in wanting to be a leader, essentially gave up after seeing all the bad habits the young players accrued.
With Khalil Mack and Carr being ‘lead by example’ guys in the locker room in addition to a ‘look the other way’ coaching staff, there was no one to hold anyone accountable.
As such, Oakland needs a head coach with a strong leadership presence. At this point in time, it was obvious Del Rio could not be that man to build a disciplined bunch and bring out the best in each player.
Knowing the locker room issues, Jon Gruden, who is well-respected and demanding of his players, might be just what this team needs moving forward.
If anyone in Raider Nation needs assurance of Gruden’s ability to hold those accountable, just watch his Sound FX.