The Raiders used to be both respected and feared. Those were the good ol’ days, when the Silver and Black were winning with regularity. The last run came in the early 2000s, which seems so long ago now after 12 straight non-winning seasons.
Jack Del Rio is the latest head coach tasked with flipping these losing ways. Del Rio can’t win in games in May, but he has established a detail-oriented philosophy that impacts everything his Raiders do.
On game day, Del Rio wants the Raiders to be a bully. He wants them to be mean and nasty like in the franchise’s glory days.
“I was asked the other day about the Raiders mystique,” Del Rio said Wednesday in an interview with SiriusXM NFL Radio. “Let me tell you what the mystique was. It was people knowing they were going to get pounded when they played the Raiders. There was fear developed through physical play of this football team. We want to bring that physicality back.”
Del Rio wants physical play within the rules, of course.
“We want to bring swagger back, but it has to be controlled, calculated and fundamentally sound,” Del Rio said. “It has to lead to winning football. It’s not the kind where you’re drawing penalties and playing sloppy and undisciplined.
“One thing I’ve learned in talking to Raiders greats is that too much is made of the side show and not enough about the hard work and the toughness that was a part of this team.”