The Raiders will need a new secondary coach. Derrick Ansley is leaving for the University of Tennessee, 24/7 Sports reported on Friday afternoon.
That’s a blow to the Silver and Black, who were happy with Ansley’s work during his one season with the team’s young defensive backs.
He’s headed back to the college ranks after one year in the NFL. He came to the Raiders from Alabama, with previous stops at Kentucky and Tennessee.
He reunites with new Tennessee head coach Jeremy Pruitt, whom he worked with in separate teams in Alabama.
Tennessee fans are excited over Ansley’s addition, but it leaves the Raiders with an important vacancy on the coaching staff.
Senior defensive assistant Jim O’Neill spent last year coaching safeties and could take over the entire secondary. Or perhaps the Raiders could look outside for Ansley’s replacement.
Some Raiders fans are trying to link Charles Woodson’s announced departure from ESPN with the team’s vacancy at defensive backs coach, but there’s nothing to connect those dots at this time.
The coach who takes over the position will be tasked with developing Gareon Conley, Nick Nelson and Daryl Worley, who is expected to return as a restricted free agent.
The Raiders could also add to the cornerback spot, and need a free safety to challenge or assume that starting spot.