That's The Spirit, Jack
Q: At 3-13 it would seem like the team is a long way from where you want it to be. Is that the case or do you see this thing turning around pretty quickly?
Del Rio: I’m not very patient, so we’re going to need to turn it around quickly. I don’t expect to come in here and look for excuses why we can’t get it done. I’m going to look for reasons why we will. I was visiting with Kenny Norton, and obviously we got Kenny done and got him here and I reminded him of how we were in Dallas in ’89 when we were playing together and that team was 1-15. And if you look at how many players three years later were hoisting a Super Bowl trophy, a good number of those players were on that roster at that time. So you just can’t look and come into a situation like this and dismiss and say there are no players there. There are players on every team across the league that can play. Our job is to add to those players, some quality, some competition, some structure, and then strive for the excellence.
My take: LOVE IT.
No excuses, no patience. It's about time for both of these things.
I'm starting to feel bullish. Here's where it gets complicated, however. Was last year's team really a six-or-seven win team in disguise, done in by a tough schedule, some bad breaks and the inanity of retaining Dennis Allen for an abbreviated third year when it was clear he didn't have what it takes? Or was the team truly a three-win, clown-car edition?
Our expectations for Del Rio should be calibrated to the answer of that question.
If the record didn't really reflect the truth of this team, then 8-8 or better is the minimum expectation, is it not? If the record really did reflect the truth of this team, however, then .500 would be a nice achievement.
The AFC West is due for a shakeup. Manning looked old in the playoffs, and Rivers isn't getting any younger. Their teams may still be tough to handle, but they sure don't look like they're poised to get better anytime soon. The Chiefs are who we thought they were: competent. Nothing more, nothing less.
So now's the perfect time for the Raiders to bust a move and gain the divisional pole position within two or three years, as long as Del Rio has the ability to establish the right momentum
Based on his words today, he certainly has the mindset to do it.