Norton firing sent strong message to Raiders defensive players

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Several members of the Oakland Raiders defense weren’t happy with the decision to fire defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. But they also realized that, if it happens to him, it could happen to them.

“Guys saw the Norton situation, and that kind of got guys fired up, I would say, and more focused,” linebacker Bruce Irvin recently told NBC Sports California. “Once again, I think guys are looking at that situation and thinking, ‘Man, we can get fired, too.’ It’s not only coaches. It falls on the players, too. It was a wake-up call for us, and guys really started to hone in and get in their books. We’re practicing better, and it’s starting to translate on Sundays now.”

That wasn’t Irvin’s first reaction. The former Seahawk was mad that Norton was let go.

“Ken Norton’s like a father to me,” Irvin said. “He has changed my life in so many ways, not only on the field but off the field. It was a tough situation. I basically came to Oakland for him, and he was let go.”

Irvin tweeted “BULLSH-T” after Norton was fired.

“The tweet was just me,” Irvin said. “I’m a very outspoken person, anyway. I’m going to say what I want to say when I want to say it. I was mad at the moment, but I talked to Jack and he understood. He didn’t hold anything against me. He just gave me a few days, and it blew over.”

It blew over, and the end result has been a defensive improvement. They’ll need it on Sunday; the last time they faced the Chiefs, Kansas City scored 30 points. And while the Raiders scored 31 in that same game, it’s always easier to win if the opposing offense is producing less. (#Analysis.)

However it plays out, Sunday’s rematch at Arrowhead Stadium feels like an elimination game, with the loser falling to 6-7 and likely out of the hunt of the AFC West crown.

24 responses to “Norton firing sent strong message to Raiders defensive players

  1. It’s amazing that players earning millions need to be sent a strong message. Isn’t the money and the fact this is your job enough motivation to work hard and strive for greatness, not the threat of being “fired”?

  2. It’s probably the complete lack of sleep talking, but I just got a huge kick out of the fact that this picture is of both men in Seahawks gear while the article is focussed on their time together with the raiders. These are the things that entertain me.

  3. Has the defense really improved? They lost 34-14 against the Bills the first game after the firing. Then they gave up 24 pts to the Dolphins. Then the Pats buried them with 33 pts. They then held the Broncos to 14 and the Geno Smith led Giants to 17, which is probably more points than either of those sorry offenses should have scored.

  4. “But they also realized that, if it happens to him, it could happen to them.”

    ————————–

    Could but not likely. Coaches always takes the fall first. Then overpaid, overrated players since GMs hold on to them too long even with realizing it’s not working out.

  5. .
    Norton was fired two days after the Patriots 33-8 victory over the ill prepared Raiders, who were totally non competitive. It more resembled a Patriots walk through than an actual game.
    .

  6. It’s amazing that players earning millions need to be sent a strong message. Isn’t the money and the fact this is your job enough motivation to work hard and strive for greatness, not the threat of being “fired”?
    Quickly going from 0 dollars to Making millions of dollars a year can also be a quick way to feel entitled & lose motivation to wake early to go listen to a boss who makes less than you screaming & yelling then stay up late reading a playbook instead of enjoying the said millions.
    That’s why great coaches like BB keep players on their toes

  7. vikingsvoice says:
    December 9, 2017 at 9:04 am
    Has the defense really improved? They lost 34-14 against the Bills the first game after the firing. Then they gave up 24 pts to the Dolphins. Then the Pats buried them with 33 pts. They then held the Broncos to 14 and the Geno Smith led Giants to 17, which is probably more points than either of those sorry offenses should have scored.

    ________________________________________________________________________

    If you are going to hate for no reason, don’t let facts stand in the way. He was fired after the Pats game. The Raiders played the Bills before that. They are 2-0 since the firing allowing 14 and 17 points. Before the firing they gave up huge points to the Josh McCown led Jets, and Jay Cutler coming off of an injury the game after they traded away their best offensive weapon. So yes, the defense has improved. It still may not be a top 10 defense but they are not a 32nd ranked defense anymore either.

  8. Norton should’ve been fired immediately after the 2016 season and the Raiders should’ve hired Wade Phillips (who was available). Phillips is a great DC and the evidence is that the broncos won a Super Bowl with his defense despite a mediocre HC. Look at Denver without him and the Rams’ turnaround after they hired him.

    As for Irvin, he’s a loudmouth like Osemele but since Irvin has performed reasonably for the Raiders (thanks largely to Khalil Mack drawing attention on the other side) I can tolerate Irvin and tune out his verbal noise.

  9. It always kills me when these players say they got “more focused”.
    These guys are paid millions of dollars to do a job and to always be “focused”. If I was a coach and I ever heard one of my millionaire players say they became “more focused” I would have them in my office in 32 seconds asking what the hell was going on before and why weren’t they fully “focused” and how can we avoid them being less focused ever again?
    So sick of these pampered athletes. You make more money in 1 year than most fans will make in 10 years. Some of these guys make more in one game than fans make in a 10 years.

  10. Raider fans, this is what us Jag fans like to call the “Del Rio Firing Carousel”. Just pray your ownership identifies it LONG before ours did and gets rid of the main problem.

  11. vikingsvoice says:
    December 9, 2017 at 9:04 am

    Has the defense really improved? They lost 34-14 against the Bills the first game after the firing. Then they gave up 24 pts to the Dolphins. Then the Pats buried them with 33 pts. They then held the Broncos to 14 and the Geno Smith led Giants to 17, which is probably more points than either of those sorry offenses should have scored.
    ——————
    RAIDERS ARE 2-0 WITHOUT NORTON..

  12. You’d think the 4 game losing or nearly three years of sucks big defensively would be the reason why they’d “hone in and get in their books”. Norton was a mockery of a DC. As someone mentioned early Carroll always passed him over for a promotion. Any “success” he had was released daty by coattails. Shame on JDR for keeping his pawn while firing a coach who was instrumental in a top 7 offensive unit.

  13. araidersfan says:
    December 9, 2017 at 11:24 am
    Norton should’ve been fired immediately after the 2016 season and the Raiders should’ve hired Wade Phillips (who was available). Phillips is a great DC and the evidence is that the broncos won a Super Bowl with his defense despite a mediocre HC. Look at Denver without him and the Rams’ turnaround after they hired him.
    As for Irvin, he’s a loudmouth like Osemele but since Irvin has performed reasonably for the Raiders (thanks largely to Khalil Mack drawing attention on the other side) I can tolerate Irvin and tune out his verbal noise.
    ***************************************************************************8

    Although this sounds like a good idea, Phillips runs a 3-4 defense and we definitely do NOT have the linebackers to be successful at it.

  14. castropigsocks says:
    December 9, 2017 at 8:59 am

    The wrong guy was fired…He ran the defense Del Rio wanted him to run.

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    Your assessment is incorrect. Norton was completely in over his head. The Raiders constantly had communication and substitution issues on defense. Del Rio had to take over play calling in game on several occasions. Norton is nothing more than a motivator (apparently a poor one). Mike Singleterry 2.0 .. He taped his fingers up on Sundays as if he was still a player. When I was invited to Training Camp, Norton didn’t lead a single player drill. He walked around staring at his cell phone the whole time.

  15. sportstalkfan says:
    December 9, 2017 at 8:46 am

    It’s amazing that players earning millions need to be sent a strong message. Isn’t the money and the fact this is your job enough motivation to work hard and strive for greatness, not the threat of being “fired”?

    ____________________________________________

    That is a pretty shallow understanding of how the human psyche works, clearly there are a number of variables that influence motivation, and a number of determinants, both internal and external that factor into motivation. Whether a person earns 1 or 1 million, money is just 1 of a couple hundred factors that influence motivation.

  16. He was given 2 and a half years and the defense has been terrible. It’s unfair to say it was all because of him, some of the players haven’t been very good. The players should view this as a strong message, because some of the play by them is what got norton ultimately fired. These players will be reminded that the NFL is a performance and result based business.

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