The Raiders hired head coach Jack Del Rio three weeks ago now. He, like other new NFL head coaches, quickly went about assembling a staff. The Raiders moved fast on several fronts, but have taken their time finding a defensive coordinator.
Seattle is the only other team without one, and the Seahawks lost their man on Tuesday when Dan Quinn formally left for Atlanta. That doesn't mean Raiders are in a rush, and they are not worried about a thinned-out crop of candidates.
This week, a few more have become available.
The Raiders were finally free to contact and speak with coaches from Seattle and New England following Sunday’s Super Bowl. Seahawks linebackers coach Ken Norton, Jr. has been linked to the Raiders DC job several times. He and Del Rio are close from their playing days in Dallas.
There were also reports the Raiders were considering coaches from the college ranks, and it’ll be easier to tread those waters with National Signing Day kicking off Wednesday morning.
Having a college assistant coach linked to another job just before prep recruits formally committed to a school can have a negative impact on that program. With kids having signed on the dotted line, it’s less of a blow.
With no impediments remaining, expect some movement in Del Rio’s search.
No matter whom the Raiders hire, Del Rio’s defensive philosophy will be evident in scheme and game planning. Del Rio has a strong history as a defensive coordinator and, as he said at his introductory press conference, he could end up calling plays on game day. He said that would depend on the experience level of his defensive coordinator.
The Raiders will push forward at their own pace, committed only to finding the right man for the job. They still need a defensive line coach and a possibly a few minor assistants, but defensive coordinator is the last big piece to come into fold.