The Oakland Raiders have fired head coach Jack Del Rio as the team’s head coach with rumors of Jon Gruden circling overhead.
The Oakland Raiders are only one year removed from a 12-win regular season and only a few months from being labeled odds-on favorites to join the AFC’s elite teams, yet those sort of preseason expectations and the failure to meet them are likely what led to Jack Del Rio’s demise as the Raiders head coach.
On Sunday night, the Raiders announced that they were moving on from Del Rio after only three seasons at the helm in which he had a winning record of 25-23. The Raiders made the move official after rumors were circulating about Del Rio’s chances, and Mark Davis made it official with a statement as the team’s owner.
"“We appreciate Jack’s effort in building the foundation of this team for the future. Thank you to Jack, his wife, Linda, and his daughter, Aubrey, for their important contributions to the Raiders and our local community in Oakland. We wish them all the best,” said Raiders owner Mark Davis."
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Del Rio holds the dubious record for coaching for the most seasons in the NFL without a single division title, but that doesn’t mean that Del Rio hasn’t had good teams or that they’ve not played hard. However, he’s likely wore out his welcome with any future head coaching stints given his inability to win with what is perceived as a loaded chest of young talent in Oakland.
The firing of Del Rio only adds to the list of other teams’ failed attempts to win in the AFC West ever since the Kansas City Chiefs hired head coach Andy Reid back in 2013. Since then, the Chiefs are one of three teams with a winning record every year (Seattle Seahawks, New England Patriots) and the Chiefs have become particularly dominant within their division.
Del Rio finished his Raiders tenure with a 1-5 record against the Chiefs, showing just how wide the chasm was between the division’s best and the rest of the rivals.