Defensive line coach Jethro Franklin grew up just down the street in San Jose, Calif. He grew up a Raiders fan and watched the Silver and Black dominate the National Football League.
"I remember a lot about the Raiders," said Coach Franklin. "I remember John Matuszak. I remember, obviously, Howie Long being a D-lineman. What I didn't remember was kind of forced on me because when I went to school at Fresno State, Mike Waufle was my D-line coach, and we all know he was the D-line coach here, and his history. He would always show us old clips of the Raiders when we were playing at Fresno State. I know there's a lot of great history and tradition and really looking forward to seeing those glory days and winning ways come back."
Raiders Hall of Famers like Howie Long, Willie Brown and Jim Otto, can often be found in the facility and on the field game day. "It's just a constant reminder of what you're really doing on a day-to-day basis and what you're trying to build. It keeps you grounded," said Coach Franklin. "It'll keep you wanting to continue to do as much as you can possibly do to uphold the legacy. That's probably the most important thing is it's not just about you; it's about all those before you. You want to make sure you do everything you can to represent and to do your God-given best so the organization can be the best."
The Raiders 2015 coaching staff has a combined 102 playing years in the NFL. Check out these photos of the staff during their playing days.
Coach Franklin intends to make the defensive linemen the best they can be. "I'm a disciplinarian. I'm a detail guy," he explained. "I like the little things done the right way. I don't like skimping on little things because at the end of the day it's a bunch of little things that add up to big things. If you let one thing go, it's going to catch up to you sooner or later. I always have 110 percent faith and belief in the men that I'm working with and that's how I go with it. They say 90 percent of coaching or teaching is believing in the student or the player and I definitely believe that. I believe in the guys that I'm working with and they'll know and they'll feel my passion and my belief that I have in them."
Coach Franklin loves to coach, and he's done so at the college and pro level. "The greatest thing about coaching is players and players wanting to get better. As long as players know that you have a genuine concern for them to become better, then they want to be coached," Franklin explained. "When it comes to just coaching, it's all about player development and it's always going to be about that whether you're coaching pee-wees, pro football, college football, high school football. It's all about getting them to do what they don't want to do so they can become what they always wanted to be."
He particularly enjoys coaching the defensive line. "Well, it's my passion. It's the position I played," Coach Franklin said. "I take a lot of pride in teaching. I like to pass on the knowledge that I have and continue to get better as coach, which is something that is very, very important to me, and stay ahead of the trends, ahead of the curve, what's new, what's exciting, and just be able to really teach and see the guys carry it out and have success on the field. That's probably my biggest thrill."
And he will be aided be a veteran who has experienced a great deal of success in DE Justin Tuck. "It's always helpful whenever you have seasoned veterans who have had success and tasted it and know what it tastes like," said Coach Franklin. "They can remind the guys who haven't had it how hard it is to get there and how hard you have to work to get there. They can reemphasize to the younger guys that it's all about what you do on that practice field day in and day out and how much time you put into studying when you're away from the building as well. It takes a lot of work."
Coach Franklin wants all of his players to experience that feeling of success.
As Coach Franklin begins his time as a Raider, he has one thing on his mind – Commitment to Excellence. "Since I was growing up, you all have heard it, Commitment to Excellence, and this is it. This is where it started," he said. "It definitely means a lot to me. It's something that's special and dear to my heart. It's something I've always strived to be is excellent. Let's be committed to excellence in the way we go about everything we do as Raiders."