The Oakland Raiders have seen a lot of change since their last Super Bowl appearance 14 seasons ago. Players, coaches, and high hopes have come and gone, but the Raiders faithful has remained. Finally, after 14 years, the silver and black have become something fans have long awaited for: a winning team. Much of the credit goes to the second-year head coach, Jack Del Rio.
Del Rio and the squad are coming off their first winning season (12-4) since 2002. The Raiders were ranked sixth in total offense and came one-win shy of winning the AFC West. They were still able to punch their ticket to the playoffs with a wildcard spot. In just two years, Del Rio has a record of 19-13, which is more than any of the team’s last nine head coaches. Management especially has taken note of Del Rio’s success.
Owner Mark Davis has taken note of Del Rio’s success and released the following statement about his future according to Raiders:
“The Raiders have torn up Jack Del Rio’s original contract and rewarded him with a new four-year deal. We are excited to continue building on the strong foundation that has been established and this is a significant step in achieving that goal.”
Del Rio will return to a team with plenty of young talent ready to compete, including seven 2017 Pro Bowlers. Most Valuable Player candidate and quarterback Derek Carr will return from injury with the eighth highest receiver Amari Cooper.
After their long anticipated resurrection, the team has fans waiting to see if they can continue this upward trend. One can only imagine what could have happened this past season if Carr stayed healthy, but Del Rio’s instilled culture has many thinking the best has yet to come.