Bill Callahan, Norv Turner, Art Shell, Lane Kiffin, Tom Cable, Hue Jackson, Dennis Allen, Tony Sparano and Jack Del Rio.
That’s nine different head coaches for the Oakland Raiders in the 17 years between Jon Gruden’s two stints as head coach of the Silver and Black. In an interview with KNBR on Wednesday, Gruden said he feels the lack of organizational continuity has hurt the Raiders. He also said he felt it has put general manager Reggie McKenzie in a difficult spot.
“We got to improve the talent on this team. We also, I think, have got to put a system in place here that our players can grow within,” Gruden said. “We have had 10 different head coaches, I believe, since I’ve been here. We’ve had a number of different offensive coaches. Poor Reggie McKenize has had to draft players to fit different schemes and systems and I think it’s hurt us. A lack of continuity, a lack of system football on offense and defense has certainly hurt the Raiders.”
In addition to nine head coaches, the Raiders have employed 11 different offensive coordinators and six different defensive coordinators from 2002 through 2017. Marc Trestman, Jimmy Raye, John Shoop, Tom Walsh, Greg Knapp (twice), Ted Tollner (passing game coordinator), Hue Jackson, Al Saunders, Greg Olson, Bill Musgrave and Todd Downing have all handled offensive coordinator duties. Chuck Bresnahan (twice), Rob Ryan, John Marshall, Jason Tarver, Ken Norton Jr. and John Pagano have handled the defense.
The constant churning of coaches has made it difficult for the Raiders to build a foundation for their franchise. As soon as one foundation was drafted and instilled, a staff would get blown out the door and a new way of doing things would take hold, forcing the team to start over again. That’s not to say some of the coaching changes and front office changes weren’t warranted. However, it makes it more difficult when the vision for the team is constantly changing.
Gruden wants that trend to stop with him. A 10-year contract to coach the team should help as well.
“Hopefully we can put a system in place that we can draft into, develop our players within and hopefully it can carry us to high levels and we’ve just got to prove it.”
A 10-year contract to coach the team should help Gruden create some stability as he moved the Raiders into the future as well.