Mixed emotions for Raiders coach on Las Vegas relocation
LAS VEGAS (KSNV News3LV) —
Like eggs go with bacon, the word loyal goes with Raiders fans, but will they stay loyal when the team leaves Oakland for Las Vegas?
That's one of several questions Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio was asked at an AFC coaches media breakfast Tuesday, one day after 31 of 32 NFL team owners voted to allow the team to relocate.
Reporters were not ravenous for pancakes but for Del Rio's thoughts on the move.
"There was emotion involved," said Del Rio. "Some really sad because that's where I'm from, and some really positive because it's such an exciting opportunity for the franchise... in a couple of years."
The Raiders expect to play in Oakland the next two seasons, but where they'll play in 2019 is up in the air.
As for 2020, that's when their new stadium in Las Vegas is set to open, and when that time finally arrives, Del Rio said his roster could look a lot different.
He estimated the annual turnover rate for players in the NFL to be 25 to 35 percent.
"The reality is I'm going to go talk to guys that may never make it, that won't make it to Las Vegas about, you know, Las Vegas," said Del Rio.
Las Vegas is a city Del Rio said he doesn't know much about.
What he does know is the loyalty of Raiders fans, some of whom he believes will ultimately find love for Las Vegas.
"I'm sure there will be some people that are angry and won't or can't get over it, and that's understandable," said Del Rio, "but I think there's a large contingency that are true Raiders fans, and it really doesn't matter to them where we're playing."
Del Rio said he'll talk to his players about Las Vegas at the beginning of this upcoming season, just as he has each of the past two seasons when the team thought it might move to Los Angeles.