Coaching in the NFL can be a strange occupation. Longtime assistants bounce from town to town, team to team, adapting to new bosses and schemes and different talent.
New Raiders offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave, in fact, is now working for head coach Jack Del Rio in Oakland – the same boss who fired him when Del Rio was head coach at Jacksonville back in January of 2005.
At the time, Musgrave’s Jaguars offense had been last in the AFC in scoring, and he was criticized for not getting the most out of a roster that had running back Fred Taylor, receiver Jimmy Smith and young quarterback Byron Leftwich. In that 2004 season, the Jaguars also had big problems in the red zone, on third downs and in short-yardage situations.
But Musgrave, 47, has been around the NFL a long time and has had highs and lows. He’s been an offensive coordinator in Carolina, Jacksonville and Minnesota and was quarterbacks coach of the Eagles this past season. He’s also been an offensive or quarterbacks coach with the Raiders (in 1997), University of Virginia and with Atlanta and Washington in the NFL. Some of his offenses have been very successful. Some have not. He’s often run a primarily West Coast scheme, but with wrinkles from other systems.
When he was hired by head coach Leslie Frazier in Minnesota, Frazier said one of the reasons was Musgrave’s background in working with and developing young quarterbacks. He worked with Matt Schaub at Virginia and Matt Ryan in Atlanta, helping both to success.
That experience should be helpful in 2015 with QB Derek Carr, who’s coming off a solid rookie season.
At Minnesota, Musgrave -- a former 49ers quarterback -- said he continues to learn new things every season that help him connect and teach players.
“I’ve tried to do my best from all my experiences to learn, not only as a player but as a coach,” Musgrave told the Minneapolis Star Tribune in 2011. “I think I’ve worked my tail off to learn from my mistakes and at the same time learn from my triumphs, which is a lot similar to when you’re a player. I think a quarterback learns a lot more from his interceptions than from his touchdown passes. As long as you can apply those lessons moving forward, you can continue and gain better production year in and year out.”