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49ers LB Malcolm Smith weighs in on Raiders firing Ken Norton

Malcolm Smith has a lot of history with Ken Norton

The Oakland Raiders made a change on Tuesday, firing defensive coordinator Ken Norton as the defense has continued to flounder. However, some think that the decision to fire Norton was more just because somebody had to get fired, and it wasn’t going to be the head coach.

Former NFL wide receiver and current NFL Network analyst Steve Smith tweeted on Wednesday that he was hearing that Jack Del Rio was handling game-planning, and generally calling the shots on defense. And current San Francisco 49ers (and former Oakland Raiders) linebacker Malcolm Smith agrees with him.

The 49ers signed Smith this offseason after he spent two seasons with the Raiders. Prior to that, Smith spent the first four seasons of his career with the Seattle Seahawks. His linebackers coach during his four years in Seattle? Ken Norton. His defensive coordinator his two seasons in Oakland? Ken Norton.

It’s not entirely shocking that he is coming to the defense of his former coach. I don’t imagine Norton will fire back with anything, but clearly players are displeased with his firing. Raiders defensive players reportedly did not meet with media because of that displeasure.