The Oakland Raiders lost to the Miami Dolphins over the weekend to drop their record to 0-4 on the season, and the team apparently decided that they’d seen all they needed to see from head coach Dennis Allen. A report came out Sunday night that the Raiders had decided to fire Allen and official word could come down as early as Tuesday, but that was quickly (and weirdly) debunked by the reporter. Since the Raiders played in London on Sunday, it’d be pretty damn awkward to fire Allen and then have him just kinda hanging out in London by himself. Then, on Monday night, the axe came down for real. Oakland reportedly fired Allen over the phone, which is slightly more courteous than doing so when he’s in another country. Given the state of the Raiders’ roster, it’s probably impossible for a coach of any caliber to do any better than Allen has done, but that’s another topic. In the meantime, former failed Dolphins coach Tony Sparano has been promoted to interim head coach.
Ian Rapoport of NFL Network said on TV Monday night that Oakland wants a “superstar” as their next head coach. Noble idea, Raiders! As a Texans fan I want a “superstar” quarterback, but that shit doesn’t grow on trees. Meanwhile, Ryan Fitzpatrick is currently quarterbacking my favorite team.
Okay, so the Raiders want a great head coach. They used to have a great head coach. His name was Jon Gruden and they wound up trading him to Tampa Bay. Of course, Gruden won a Super Bowl with Tampa Bay…against the Raiders. Classic Raiders. Rapoport threw Gruden’s name out as a potential candidate for the Raiders head coaching job once again, citing his close relationship with Oakland’s owner, Mark Davis. I’m now going to use this opportunity to remind you that Mark Davis has the haircut of a 5-year-old child.
Gruden, of course, has been working on ESPN’s Monday Night Football for years now, which is a job he seems to thoroughly enjoy. Would he leave that easy, well-paying job to coach the effing Raiders again? Gruden’s been linked to numerous job openings in recent years, but has seemingly never shown real interest in leaving the booth. He’s still young (51), so it’d be kinda weird if he was just done coaching forever. If he were serious about getting back into the game, it would seem likely that he’d be interested in joining a team with a better situation than the one Oakland is currently in. Then again, maybe he’s up for a good reclamation project. The guy that eventually brings the Raiders back from mediocrity will probably be hailed there forever. Then again, Gruden already is beloved by Raider fans, anyway.
If not Gruden, then who will the Raiders target? Jim Harbaugh’s name has come up for months now with the reported discord in the 49ers’ front office, and what better way to stick it to them than to join the team across the bay? One would imagine Oakland would have to money whip the hell out of him to get him, though.
There’s a super strong chance Davis places that call to Gruden sometime in the very near future and it’ll be interesting to see if Gruden finally takes the bait and returns to the sideline. In the meantime, Sparano will try to keep the thing from going 0-16.