Oakland Raiders: 5 reasons they’ll reach playoffs

Mandatory Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Mandatory Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images) /
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4. Competent coordinators on both sides of the ball

Last season the Raiders thought it would be a good idea to let Todd Downing run the offense that Bill Musgrave built. Although he was highly rated based on his potential, Downing is nowhere near talented enough to run an offense in the NFL.

In addition to Downing, the team employed Ken Norton Jr. as the defensive coordinator. While Norton is a great player’s coach, meaning he gets along well with his guys, he did not prove to be a capable defensive coordinator during his time in Oakland. Granted, the Raiders defense has been bad for years and Norton had the tough task of trying to fix it.

Now, the Raiders finally have proven, competent coordinators on both sides of the ball. Gruden brought in Greg Olson to be his offensive coordinator (although he is basically a glorified quarterbacks coach) and long-time Bengals coach Paul Guenther to be his defensive coordinator.

Olson has a relationship with Carr as he was in Oakland during his rookie season and has proven to be a capable mind around the league. Last season, Jared Goff improved immensely under the tutelage of Olson and Sean McVay. Carr will surely enjoy being back with a familiar and respected coach.

On the other side of the ball, Paul Guenther is an incredible hire for the Raiders. His experience in leading a defense to success in Cincinnati is well documented. He may turn out to be the best hire from the offseason. Guenther, a protege of Mike Zimmer, spent 12 seasons with the Bengals, coaching the likes of Carlos Dunlap and Geno Atkins. What he will be able to do with a talent like Khalil Mack is tantalizing.