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Jack Del Rio: Raiders needed defensive shake up in firing Ken Norton Jr.

Raiders coach Jack Del Rio is on the hot seat after Oakland's defense was embarrassed against the Patriots and the team fired DC Ken Norton.

Despite the fact that Jack Del Rio oversees a large chunk of the defensive side of the football in his role of head coach of the Oakland Raiders, he felt the struggles of the unit required a change in the coaching staff to try to spark improved play from the beleaguered unit the rest of the season.

I really felt like I needed to shake things up,” Del Rio said of firing defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr., via Josh Dubow of the Associated Press. “We couldn’t continue doing what we’ve been doing to this point. I made the call. The whole idea is to change what we’re doing.”

The Raiders moved John Pagano into the defensive coordinator role following Norton’s firing on Tuesday. Whether he can do anything to fix the struggling group remains to be seen. Oakland hasn’t intercepted a single pass this season. They have just six total takeaways, which ranks last in the NFL and is tied for last in the league in sacks with 14.

“I know one thing: Nobody should feel comfortable because what I’ve been watching is not good enough,” Del Rio said. “Nobody should feel comfortable.”

In the end, it’s still Del Rio’s defensive philosophy at work. They also will have the same players going forward that they had before the firing. It would seem there’s only so much Pagano is going to be able to do on his own to change the track the defense has been on all season.