Raiders issues in 2017 went deeper than coaching

Raiders issues in 2017 went deeper than coaching

ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) — The problems that plagued the Oakland Raiders this season in their surprising fall from Super Bowl contender to a losing record went much deeper than any coach.

While coach Jack Del Rio paid the price for overseeing one of the league’s most disappointing teams this season, it will take more than just bringing in Jon Gruden or some other coach to turn Oakland around.

“For us as players, we need to be better,” quarterback Derek Carr said. “We have to be more accountable. We have to be more demanding.”

That was missing this season as the Raiders (6-10) were unable to build on last year’s 12-win season that ended a 13-year playoff drought and reverted back to the losing ways that plagued this franchise since the team’s previous Super Bowl trip following the 2002 season in the year after Gruden left the organization for the first time.

The offense took a major step backward after firing coordinator Bill Musgrave and replacing him with the untested Todd Downing.

The defense showed no improvement the first 10 weeks under Ken Norton Jr. before making some progress after a mid-season change to John Pagano but it wasn’t enough.

The Raiders fell into a hole with a four-game losing streak early in the season and then collapsed with four straight losses down the stretch after getting back into contention.

That led to owner Mark Davis’ decision to fire Del Rio after three seasons with all signs pointing to Gruden returning as the team’s next coach. ESPN which employs Gruden as an announcer, has reported that the move will happen.

Whoever is hired will have a much better foundation than the one Del Rio inherited when he took over following a three-win season in 2014.

“For a while there, we didn’t have any winning seasons. He came in…