Ken Norton, Jr. is reportedly staying but what Raiders coach might not be?

HOUSTON, TX - JANUARY 07: Oakland Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio watches from the sideline during the NFL AFC Wild Card game between the Oakland Raiders and Houston Texans on January 7, 2017, at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Ken Murray/Icon Sportswire)

The Oakland Raiders are coming off of a 12 win season and typically when that happens, a coaching staff will remain largely intact the following season. Sometimes, a coach from a winning staff will be poached for a promotion elsewhere but it’s not often that coaches on 12 win teams get fired.

So for that reason, it’s not very surprising that Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported yesterday that from what he’s hearing, Ken Norton, Jr. is likely to still be with the team next season.

And with Norton likely sticking around, don’t expect any big changes to the Raiders coaching staff. Offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave was the architect of one of the best offenses in the league this season and under Brad Seely, special teams was a strength of the Raiders.

So it would appear that the three coordinator positions are pretty safe. There’s always the possibility that one of them will be hired away for a promotion but it seems unlikely.

There is, however, always the chance that one of the assistant coaches will be fired or promoted.

As far as promotions go, Mike Tice is hands down the best coach the Raiders have at any level. But while he’s one of the best offensive line coaches in the league, he doesn’t seem like the type to make a good offensive coordinator. And we already know he doesn’t make a very good head coach.

Marcus Robertson is another name that might be tossed around as one who is up for a promotion. Many of you will recall that Charles Woodson credits Robertson with his success when he came back to Oakland for a second stint. Since then he was promoted to defensive backs coach. But after a bad season for the Raiders secondary, the timing doesn’t seem right for a promotion.

So it doesn’t seem very likely that the Raiders lose a coach to a promotion and the most likely coordinator to be fired is reportedly sticking around. So will there be any changes to the coaching staff?

It appears that if a change is made anywhere, one position coach is the most at risk: Jethro Franklin.

In his end of the season press conference. Jack Del Rio expressed displeasure with the play of the interior defensive linemen this season. It was a major issue for the Raiders both in the run game and in the pass rush.

The team also finished with a league low 25 sacks despite adding a pass rusher this past offseason in Bruce Irvin. With Irvin and Khalil Mack you would have expected a much better sack number from the Raiders this season.

So while it would appear that the coordinators and much of the Raiders staff is safe, Franklin is a guy who Raiders fans should keep an eye on as the one possible change that could come to this staff.

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james arcellana


  1. Balls.
    I trust JDR and Reggie and so forth - they know what they’re doing, I don’t, etc.
    Having said that, I along with any member of Raider Nation with eyeballs can see that we can’t cover a TE to save our lives, Sean Smith was a disaster, and the middle of the line was consistently a non-factor leaning toward a full on liability. I guess we’re left hoping this is simply a personnel issue? I can see how each of those issues would neutralize Mack and Irvin but good gawd man… what kind of delicate balance are we talking about here? Seems like that many holes in the boat… maybe you just need a new boat?

  2. Sean Smith wasn’t the problem. They kept having him line up 5 yards off. The dude is a pure press man corner. His forte is knocking the receiver completely off time to mess up the play, not chasing fast little dudes around…

  3. I’m not totally sure that’s a good idea. Our defense has steadily gotten worse, except for the turnover differential. The D-line play was downright awful! LB’s still haven’t fixed covering the TE which was horrible last season as well. To include our secondary led the league in letting passes over 20 plus yards go over their heads! So, in ALL phases of defense, save ONE, our Raiders have historically gotten worse! That to me, is purely coaching! Especially with the amount of talent on that side of the ball, didn’t make sense to me. Their communication was bad all season. Looked like they were unsure of themselves or the scheme. They also didn’t play with fire except for the last five minutes of the end of the halves. I don’t understand this one. I get teams need continuity but, Wade Phillies is possibly leaving Denver and that means that one of the best defensive minds in the league history is becoming a free agent! Why not take a chance with him? I guess we will have to wait and see.

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