ESPN has hired yet another former Raiders coach as an on-air analyst. ESPN announced the hiring of the former Oakland Raider and Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio on Thursday. He’ll make appearances on NFL Live, SportsCenter, and ESPN Radio. His first appearance is on Friday, August 16, on NFL Live.
This excites me about being able to learn about myself and the media business,” Del Rio said per the Associated Press’ Joe Reedy. “I’m not going to be afraid of having an opinion and something to offer.”
Following a 2017 in which his Raiders went 6-10 — after going 12-4 the year before — the Raiders fired Jack Del Rio in favor of former ESPN analyst Jon Gruden. Rather than get back in the coaching ranks, Del Rio took a year off. He said on that decision, via Reedy:
“I think it was healthy to unplug and get away last year. I made the best of a situation that was awkward and abrupt. I haven’t said I am done coaching. This allows me to still talk about and cover the game while reviewing game tape and providing an opinion.”
Jack Del Rio, a 12-year NFL head coach and 11-year pro linebacker, will bring an experienced perspective to the booth. But, as he notes, coaching again is not out of the realm of possibility
Del Rio will join fellow former head coaches Rex Ryan and John Fox. Del Rio won a Super Bowl with Ryan in Baltimore in 2000. He also served as Fox’s defensive coordinator for a season with the Carolina Panthers and three with the Denver Broncos.