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2015 Oakland Raiders GameDay B

Coaching Staff Ken Norton, Jr. Defensive Coordinator 19th season in NFL (13 as a player) ■ 1st season with Raiders Ken Norton, Jr. joins the Raiders in 2015 for his sixth NFL coaching season, and his first as Oakland’s defensive coordinator. As an 18-year NFL veteran as a player and coach, Norton, Jr. has been a part of four Super Bowl-winning teams (three as a player and one as a coach). He is entering his 19th season overall in the NFL, with 13 coming as an All-Pro linebacker for the Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers. He and Raiders Head Coach Jack Del Rio played alongside one another in the linebacking corps of the Cowboys from 1989-91. From 2010-14, Norton, Jr. served as Seattle’s linebackers coach, helping the team to three NFC West Division titles, two NFC Championships and a Super Bowl XLVIII title. Over that period, Norton, Jr. helped the Seahawks’ defense rank second in total defense (309.5 yards per game) and the unit finished in the top 10 four times (2011-14), including leading the league in total defense the past two seasons. Seattle’s defense also proved to have a nose for the ball during Norton, Jr.’s tenure, forcing the fourth-most turnovers with 147. Additionally, he was part of a defensive staff that sent 11 players to the Pro Bowl from 2011-14. In 2014, Norton, Jr. helped the Seahawks win the NFC title for the second straight year. Seattle’s defense finished the year as the league’s top-ranked defense by a large margin, surrendering only 267.1 yards per game (Detroit was ranked second at 300.9 yards per game). Norton, Jr.’s linebacking corps led the way for Seattle, as LBs K.J. Wright and Bobby Wagner led the team in tackles with 107 and 104, respectively. Wagner became just the sixth player in franchise history to record three straight seasons of at least 100 tackles. Wagner was also selected to his first Pro Bowl in 2014. Helping the Seahawks capture Super Bowl XLVIII in 2013, Norton, Jr. tutored current Raiders and former Seahawks LB Malcolm Smith, who was named Super Bowl MVP after posting nine tackles (five solo), a 69-yard interception return for a touchdown and one fumble recovery. Wagner led the team in tackles during the regular season with 119, and tied for the team lead with 34 postseason tackles. With Seattle emerging as a dominant defense in 2012, Norton, Jr. was instrumental in the development of the 2012 second-round draft pick Wagner, who secured his role as the team’s starting middle linebacker and finished second in the Associated Press Defensive Rookie of the Year voting. Wagner led the team with 140 tackles (86 solo), and his 140 tackles were a franchise record for tackles by a rookie. In his first two seasons in Seattle, Norton, Jr. helped LB David Hawthorne to back-to-back 100-tackle seasons. He also oversaw the development of Wright as he emerged as a starter in the linebacking corps as a rookie in 2011. Wright finished fifth on the team with 61 tackles in only 12 games started. In 2010, he helped the Seahawks win the NFC West title and defeat the high-powered New Orleans Saints in the Wild Card round. Prior to joining the NFL coaching ranks, Norton, Jr. spent six seasons coaching on the defensive side of the ball at USC under Pete Carroll. During his career at USC, Norton, Jr. tutored an impressive group of linebackers who went on to have success at the NFL level. Among those players are LB Brian Cushing, LB Clay Matthews, LB Keith Rivers, LB Rey Maualuga and LB Lofa Tatupu. Cushing, Matthews and Rivers were all NFL first-round draft picks. During his time at USC, the school played in the 2005 Orange Bowl (BCS Championship Game), 2006 Rose Bowl (BCS Championship Game), 2007 Rose Bowl, 2008 Rose Bowl, 2009 Rose Bowl and 2009 Emerald Bowl. In 2008, Maualuga was named a first-team All-American and the Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year, made his third consecutive All-Pac-10 First Team and was USC’s first-ever winner of the Bednarik Award. He also was a finalist for the Lombardi, Butkus and Nagurski Awards. Cushing was also a Butkus Award finalist and won All-Pac-10 First Team honors. Following the season, Cushing and Matthews were first-round picks in the NFL Draft and Maualuga was a second-round selection. 24 Gameday MAGAZINE In 2007, Rivers was an All-American first-teamer and was a first-round NFL draft pick following the season, while LB Thomas Williams was a fifth-round NFL selection. In 2006 and 2007, Rivers and Maualuga made the All-Pac-10 First Team. LBs Dallas Sartz (fifth round) and Oscar Lua (seventh round) were also selected in the 2007 NFL Draft. Maualuga was named first-team Freshman All-American in 2005 and LBs Matt Grootegoed and Tatupu were named first-team All-American in 2004. Grootegoed was also a Butkus Award finalist and Tatupu was selected in the second round of the NFL draft. Norton, Jr. also helped USC win the BCS National Championship in 2004, beating Oklahoma, 55-19. After retiring from the NFL in 2000, Norton, Jr. was a radio and television commentator and analyst, including appearances on the NFL Network. He also served as the defensive coordinator at Hamilton High School in Los Angeles, Calif., in 2003.


2015 Oakland Raiders GameDay B
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