Del Rio tabs Musgrave as Raiders offensive coordinator
ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) Jack Del Rio picked the same offensive coordinator to start his tenure in Oakland as he did more than a decade ago in Jacksonville.
That’s even after he fired Bill Musgrave two years into his stint with the Jaguars.
Musgrave said Tuesday he harbors no hard feelings toward Del Rio over his dismissal 10 years ago and said he looks forward to working with Del Rio again with the Oakland Raiders.
”Jack and I are always pulling in the same direction,” Musgrave said. ”We had some real positive times there in Jacksonville. … I really learned a lot. I sure wish we would have won enough or won the tiebreaker to get in the tournament that year, but it didn’t work out. Jack’s very competitive, just as I am, so I definitely understood the decision.”
The Raiders also hired Brad Seeley as their special teams coach. Seeley had that same job the past four seasons in San Francisco. He also won special teams coach of the year in Cleveland in 2009 and won three Super Bowls in 10 seasons as special teams coach in New England
Musgrave helped develop Byron Leftwich after he was drafted in the first round by Jacksonville in 2003 and relied heavily on running back Fred Taylor, who rushed for 2,796 yards in two years under Musgrave.
The Jaguars ranked 18th in the NFL in passing, 11th in rushing and 28th in scoring in Musgrave’s two years there with Del Rio. Musgrave was fired after the team went 9-7 in 2004.
Since leaving Jacksonville, he has had success at a variety of stops. Musgrave served as quarterbacks coach in Washington in 2005 when Mark Brunell helped the Redskins make the playoffs; spent five years as quarterbacks coach in Atlanta where he helped develop Matt Ryan; was offensive coordinator for three years in Minnesota, including when Adrian Peterson rushed for 2,097 yards in 2012; and quarterbacks coach in Philadelphia last season.
Musgrave said he learned a lot from Eagles coach Chip Kelly and plans to incorporate some of the spread offense and hurry-up tactics that were so successful in Philadelphia if they fit the personnel in Oakland.
”We’re going to do quite a bit if it fits what the players can do there in Oakland,” Musgrave said. ”We’re looking forward to getting out on the field in the spring and really finding out where their strengths lie. We talked about tailoring our system to fit them, but I’ve got a hunch that a lot of the things we did here in Philadelphia will match up real nice and be effective.”
In five years as the play caller in Minnesota and Jacksonville, Musgrave’s teams always ranked in the top half in the league in percentage of run plays. The Raiders were last in that category last season under Greg Olson and would like to do a better job establishing the run this season.
The Raiders were one of the NFL’s worst offenses last season. Oakland finished last in total offense (282.2 yards per game), second-worst in scoring offense (15.8 points per game), last in rushing offense (77.5 yards per game), and 26th in passing offense.
”I’m definitely not going to come in with a system and force anybody to do something that’s not natural,” Musgrave said. ”We’re definitely going to try to customize and tailor the Raiders’ system to fit the Raider players. Philosophically, I do believe in running the football. I definitely want to be a physical outfit that runs the ball and imposes their will on the defense.”
Despite the lack of production, Musgrave said he was attracted to the job because of the presence of quarterback Derek Carr.
Carr started all 16 games and became the seventh rookie to top 3,000 yards passing and 20 touchdown passes in a season.
Musgrave said he will be involved in filling out the rest of the offensive coaching staff. The team has already hired Mike Tice to coach the offensive line.
Musgrave also served short stints as offensive coordinator with Philadelphia and Carolina before joining the Jaguars. He got his coaching start in 1997 as the quarterbacks coach in Oakland when Jeff George threw 29 TD passes and nine interceptions.
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