The Oakland Raiders have brought in another former member of the San Francisco 49ers. The Raiders announced on Friday that Ken Norton Jr. has been named defensive coordinator. Norton is best known among 49ers fans for his seven seasons with the team back in the 90s. He joined the 49ers after six seasons with the Dallas Cowboys.
This marks the third 49ers "rival" Norton has joined. He was obviously with the Cowboys before he joined the 49ers, but his most recent job was as linebackers coach for the Seattle Seahawks. He held that job from 2010 to this past season. Prior to that, he was linebackers coach at USC with Pete Carroll from 2004 to 2009.
Norton joins the Raiders now, adding to his list of 49ers rivals (and Bay Area rivals if you count his time at USC). From what I've seen, new head coach Jack Del Rio will be developing the defensive philosophy. I don't know what this means for Norton in the days leading up to and during games each week, but he'll obviously be involved in some extent.
It will be at least a little interesting to see how this shapes up compared to the 49ers defensive structure. Jim Tomsula has a defensive background, but he will have a defensive staff that has extensive experience of their own. Eric Mangini will serve as defensive coordinator Eric Mangini, while there has been chatter that Jason Tarver will get some input into the game plan. It's hard to tell for now though who's defensive philosophy will be in place.
Speaking of Norton, how about a highlight of him punching the goalpost after returning an interception for a touchdown?