Jack Del Rio: Raiders needed defensive shake up in firing Ken Norton Jr.

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Despite the fact that Jack Del Rio oversees a large chunk of the defensive side of the football in his role of head coach of the Oakland Raiders, he felt the struggles of the unit required a change in the coaching staff to try to spark improved play from the beleaguered unit the rest of the season.

I really felt like I needed to shake things up,” Del Rio said of firing defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr., via Josh Dubow of the Associated Press. “We couldn’t continue doing what we’ve been doing to this point. I made the call. The whole idea is to change what we’re doing.”

The Raiders moved John Pagano into the defensive coordinator role following Norton’s firing on Tuesday. Whether he can do anything to fix the struggling group remains to be seen. Oakland hasn’t intercepted a single pass this season. They have just six total takeaways, which ranks last in the NFL and is tied for last in the league in sacks with 14.

“I know one thing: Nobody should feel comfortable because what I’ve been watching is not good enough,” Del Rio said. “Nobody should feel comfortable.”

In the end, it’s still Del Rio’s defensive philosophy at work. They also will have the same players going forward that they had before the firing. It would seem there’s only so much Pagano is going to be able to do on his own to change the track the defense has been on all season.

14 responses to “Jack Del Rio: Raiders needed defensive shake up in firing Ken Norton Jr.

  1. have to agree- you could tell these guys were not having fun playing football. Just going through the motions, and showing no emotion. Last time I have seen the raiders having fun was week 2 when Marshwan was dancing at the end of third qtr…since then its been a mental thing with lack of execution and mediocre play……Downing is also part of the problem…1 gadget play all year, a flea flicker against the chiefs that resulted in a td, besides that a bunch of two and three yard passes, and runs on first downs…zzzzz,zzzzzz,zzzzzzz,zzzzzzz,

  2. This is a man worried that he might loose his job, Gruden and Harbaugh both got ties to their franchise and Mark Davis, he knows that, desperate times cause for desperate measures…what about the OC Downing?

  3. Too many times players were either out of position or there was miscommunication issues. Along with improper substitution packages. It has been a discombobulated unit since Norton came on board. He was playing checkers while the position requires chess. He taped his fingers every game as if he was still a player. Ken Norton Jr is Mike Singletary light.

  4. “Oakland hasn’t intercepted a single pass this season.”

    This is a direct result of a serious lack of QB pressure. You want some pics, turn up the heat and make QB’s throw before they want to.

  5. Don’t worry, having an average QB like Carr (career rating 87.9), must leave plenty of money on the table for you to upgrade the defense.

  6. Norton is a 4 time SB Champion, 3 as a player. It’s not his fault the Raiders defense isn’t playing up to snuff. Raiders players aren’t playing for Del Rio after they learn he is a trump supporter. The attempt to scapegoat the multi SB champion won’t work.

  7. Real problems on this team, after Carr stood for the anthem rather than kneel with the rest of the team, they let him get sacked and on that play he got hurt and missed a game or so.

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