The question of whether a current head coach will be fired comes with a far more important question.
Who will replace him?
Earlier this week, former Raiders quarterback and NFL MVP Rich Gannon made a suggestion that will capture the imagination of plenty of Raiders fans: Former Raiders coach Jon Gruden.
“I’ve had conversations with Jon in the past,” Gannon told 95.7 The Game in San Francisco on Tuesday. “I don’t think it’s outside the realm of possibilities.”
Gannon was reluctant to go too far with the Gruden-to-Oakland talk, in large part because Gannon said he thinks current coach Dennis Allen should get a chance to finish what he started. Still, Gannon acknowledged that Gruden will indeed return to the NFL — eventually.
“I know that he still has the desire to get back and do it at some point,” Gannon said. “I don’t know when. I don’t know where. But I know this, that he had two bad experiences as a head coach with some owners that he just had a tough time with. And you know I think it’s pretty clear that he didn’t necessarily see eye to eye with Mr. Davis . . . . and I think he wants to go somewhere where he’s got an owner that’s not gonna, you know, try and pick the roster and try and call the plays, and just a guy that he can just come in and work for and hire a staff and get the thing turned around.”
That would seem to eliminate a team like the Cowboys, unless owner Jerry Jones has decided to get out of the way. (Yes, I was laughing while I typed that.) But it wouldn’t necessarily eliminate the Raiders, given that owner Mark Davis wouldn’t try to run the team because he admittedly knows nothing about running a team.
Gannon thinks that Gruden “certainly” would want final say over the personnel, which could makes things at a minimum awkward for G.M. Reggie McKenzie.
Still, at a time when the Raiders feel like a team that is languishing and non-competitive, the return of Jon Gruden — who remains beloved in the Bay Area — could invigorate the franchise.