With the Oakland Raiders searching for their seventh head coach since Jon Gruden was sent to Tampa Bay 10 years ago, let’s look at three key aspects the new coach must address.
Stability: The past three coaches in Oakland -- Lane Kiffin, Tom Cable and Hue Jackson -- all created their own drama at different times in their stay in Oakland. The days of the head coach in Oakland being a distraction must be over.
Penalties: The Raiders set NFL records for penalties and penalty yardage in 2011. I have a difficult time pinning that issue all on Jackson. The Raiders have historically been one of the most penalized teams in the NFL and Jackson tried to fix the issue. The new coach is going to have to figure out a way to cut down on this problem.
Defense: The Raiders haven’t hired a defensive-minded coach since John Madden was hired nearly 40 years ago. That may change as new Oakland general manager Reggie McKenzie is a former linebacker himself. At least two of the expected candidates, Green Bay’s Winston Moss and Darren Perry, are defensive coaches. Changing philosophies may be a good idea. Oakland’s defense gave up way too many big plays in 2011 and is a primary reason why Oakland didn’t make the playoffs. Jackson talked about his willingness to move to a 3-4 defense. That may happen in the post-Jackson days. Green Bay runs a 3-4 defense, so if Moss or Perry is brought in, Oakland may make the switch. That would work in my mind. The Raiders have several natural 3-4 fits on defense. Whatever the method, the new coach in Oakland must improve this side of the ball.