Jack Del Rio upbeat about Raiders' future

Jack Del Rio is upbeat about the Oakland Raiders' outlook after taking over as coach for the AFC West franchise.

"I've been a Raider fan all my life," said Del Rio, who grew up in nearby Hayward. "That's not the main reason I came back. I was blessed with this opportunity and agreed to take this job because of a lot of factors. It starts with knowing there is good leadership in place that I believe I can work with, that we can build this team."

Del Rio beat out former interim coach Tony Sparano for the job.

Raiders owner Mark Davis took on a hands-on role with the hiring process.

"When it came down to it I had one person I felt should be the head coach of the Oakland Raiders," Davis said. "After we had the interview with Jack for the second time, Reggie and I went back and talked for about an hour. We fully agreed on it. It was simple. I believe he's right for the Raiders right now. I think he is the guy, and he understands us."

The Raiders have gone 56-136 over the past dozen seasons and haven't made the playoffs since they made it to the Super Bowl in 2002.

The Raiders went 3-13 last season after starting 0-10.

Del Rio signed a four-year contract.

"This is an organization that has been an excellent organization for a number of years, and it's fallen on some hard times recently, but the foundation is in place for us to be great again," Del Rio said. "It's up to us. I want to empower the players in the locker room to be accountable to be able to step forward, to take the team, to take the torch and to build this thing great again. We've got a lot of work to do and I'm excited to be here and excited to get started."

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Aaron Wilson covers the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun

Aaron Wilson
Aaron Wilson covers the NFL for National Football Post, his second stint at the Post. He has previously written for Pro Football Talk and FOX Sports-Scout. Entering his 13th year covering the Baltimore Ravens, he's a beat writer for The Baltimore Sun. Wilson has also covered the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans.

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