Oakland Raiders Retain Ken Norton Jr. and Fire Marcus Robertson

September 20, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders defensive backs Marcus Robertson during the second quarter against the Baltimore Ravens at O.co Coliseum. The Raiders defeated the Ravens 37-33. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Oakland Raiders have made a coaching change to the defensive staff, but not the one that was expected.

The Oakland Raiders made multiple coaching changes Tuesday afternoon, starting with the decision to not renew the contract of offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave, and promoting QB Coach Todd Downing in his place. But the news didn’t stop there.

Jack Del Rio and the team have decided to retain Ken Norton Jr. to be the defensive coordinator for at least one more year — which will be his third with the team in that role. But they are not retaining the defensive backs coach — Marcus Robertson — who has been fired.

Del Rio often voiced his displeasure with the secondary in post-game press conferences, being critical of the big plays the group would allow.

Which does make sense. The secondary was awful virtually the entire year. The group was continuously burned for big plays, so Robertson’s being let go is certainly warranted.

But the decision to retain Ken Norton Jr. is a bit peculiar, to say the least. While the blame for the secondary should fall on the defensive backs coach, it should also fall on the defensive coordinator. Norton often had Sean Smith — a press corner — playing off his man. And he use Reggie Nelson — an old man — in single-high coverage. So Norton Jr. is far from deserving of blame.

There is also the matter that the secondary wasn’t the only problem with the defense — the Raiders finished dead last in the NFL in sacks.

The only legitimate reason to keep Norton Jr. is for continuity — but what good is continunity when you are continuing with an inept coach?

At any rate, it seems like the Wade Phillips to Oakland dream is over. We’ll just have to wait and see what personnel changes are made to the defensive side of the ball by the time next season rolls around, and what Ken Norton Jr. does with said changes.

This article originally appeared on