The Oakland Raiders organization has gained a reputation of releasing and hiring head coaches on the fly. In fact, since the reign of Jon "Chucky" Gruden (1998-2001), the organization has hired six head coaches. These six are: Bill Callahan, Norv Turner, Art Shell, Lane Kiffin, Tom Cable and the recently promoted Hue Jackson.
Gruden had success in Oakland. Had Gruden remained head coach for one more season, he would have possibly received his Super Bowl win as an Oakland Raider instead of as a Tampa Bay Buccaneer. However, it is what it is.
The Raiders seem to be in the hunt for instant success, but to have success you need stability. Former head coach Cable had some time to get the team stable, and hopefully Jackson will last five-plus seasons and get the Raiders to two back-to-back Super Bowls. Sounds good, but one will do :). Alongside four AFC West titles.
In days past, it seemed that the longer-lasting coaches had huge amounts of success, like John Madden, Al Davis and Tom Flores. Flores had great success as a head coach for the Silver and Black. Although Madden has the title of winningest coach for the Silver and Black, Tom Flores has three Super Bowl rings, the first as an assistant coach under Madden (Super Bowl XI) and two as the head coach for the Raiders, Super Bowls XV and XVIII.
Flores played for the Raiders for six years, from 1960-66. As a quarterback for the Silver and Black, he had his best season in 1966. Flores had 24 touchdowns and 2,638 yards passing in 14 games. He was traded the following season, but returned to the Raiders as a coach in 1979.
The 1979 season was a great year for the Raiders. Flores had returned and was a perfect fit for the hungry Raiders. His previous experience as a quarterback and assistant coach would propel the Raiders to two Super Bowl championships.
Flores will eventually be inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame. His entire life was football, and the majority of that was with the legendary Raiders. It amazing to think that Flores once played backup to Len Dawson of the Kansas City Chiefs when they won the world championship in 1969.
Flores remained a winning coach for the Silver and Black until 1987 and currently is a sportscaster for his old team. His time as head coach is legendary, as he had legendary players like Lyle Alzado, Howie Long, Kenny King and Rod Martin, to name a few, all of which were excellent athletes that can be matched with today's players, i.e Darren McFadden and Richard Seymour.
It is an exciting time for the Raider Nation and the Oakland organization, as the team is moving forward.The Raiders are currently on the rise to becoming the best. Jackson had a promising season as offensive coach, and was able to help the Raiders defeat the AFC West.
The Raiders not only put some smiles on their fans, they proved to themselves that they are back. The Raiders are on the verge of becoming the AFC West Champions in 2011. It will be perfect if the Raiders can continue their climb and become a formidable foe like the teams Flores took to both Super Bowls.
To do this, the Raiders must defeat teams outside of their division. They must focus on fewer penalties and work on tackling. The Patriots and Jets will have their hands full in 2011. They will become victims of the Raiders and that will be because they underestimate the sleeping giant.
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