This morning, news broke that the San Francisco 49ers and running backs coach Tom Rathman will be parting ways and immediately. I thought about the Raiders. Rathman, who saw huge success in San Francisco with running backs like Frank Gore and Carlos Hyde, was once making guys like Justin Fargas look like good running backs in Oakland.
And now that he is on the job market, Jack Del Rio and Reggie McKenzie need to seriously consider bringing him back into the fold.
Bernie Parmelee has been the running backs coach for the Raiders since 2015 and has done well. Latavius Murray showed a ton of improvement from 2015 to 2016 and the Raiders saw two rookies produce very well this past season. But they also had problems showing consistency in the run game and really only had one or two truly dominant run performances. Plus,Â when you have the opportunity to bring in a guy like Rathman, who some believe is one of the best running backs coaches in the NFL, you canâ€™t just dismiss the idea.
The hire of John Pagano showed that the Raiders are not opposed to diverging from the traditional makeup of an NFL coaching staff. If the Raiders have an assistant head coach for defense, why canâ€™t they have the running game version of Al Saunders?
Bring Rathman in as a running game coordinator to work with Parmelee and get this Raiders run game up to the level that we all know Jack Del Rio wants it at.
If the Raiders want to play more “big boy football,” bringing in a guy like Rathman will help them achieve that goal. The Niners ran mostly power blocking schemes with Rathman so he will fit in with what the Raiders want to do with their massive offensive line.
Plus, if Latavius Murray walks in free agency as I suspect he might, the Raiders could very well be looking at a running back stable that consists of two second year backs and a rookie. If thatâ€™s the case, they could use all of the coaching help they can get.
Obviously, money is not the most bountiful item in Mark Davisâ€™ life or he wouldnâ€™t be begging any city in America for money. Given the fact that he just gave Jack Del Rio a new contract, he might not be inclined to add another salary. If thatâ€™s the case, then thatâ€™s the case, but Del Rio and McKenzie should really consider trying to convince Davis that this is a worthwhile idea.
This Raiders team is already a very good team and is oh so close to being a great team. Making a move like this, that could really shore up the run game and turn it from good to dominant, would go a long way towards making this team truly great.