In 2016, the Raiders had one of the NFL’s best and most dominating offensive lines. In 2017, the line – and the entire offense, for that matter – faltered.
Now, as new head coach Jon Gruden builds his staff of assistant coaches, it seems unlikely that respected offensive line coach Mike Tice will return. Tice is one of the league’s most respected line coaches, yet he’ll pay the price for the team’s drop from 12-4 to 6-10 this past season.
As Paul Gutierrez of ESPN.com noted this week, the Raiders’ line seemed to lose “its identity” in 2017. In 2016, the Raiders prospered with a power-blocking scheme. In 2017, the team under new offensive coordinator Todd Downing mixed in a lot more zone-blocking plays, and the line – especially over the first half of the season – didn’t perform as well.
Now, Gruden has interviewed (or will interview) as many as six coaches to handle the offensive line, reports Gutierrez, including Hal Hunter of the Browns, Hank Fraley of UCLA, Dave DeGuglielmo of the Dolphins and Harold Goodwin of the Cardinals.
The talent certainly is there. Left tackle Donald Penn, left guard Kelechi Osemele and center Rodney Hudson again were selected to the Pro Bowl, and right guard Gabe Jackson has shown he’s very talented. In his first season in Oakland, right tackle Marshall Newhouse also showed he can be a solid performer.
DeGuglielmo certainly has a long resume of success and could be an attractive candidate, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, who tweeted Thursday that Gruden had received permission from Miami to talk to him.
DeGuglielmo has been the offensive line coach for the Patriots, Jets and Dolphins and has been part of three coaching staffs to take teams to a Super Bowl championship.