When the Oakland Raiders reportedly offered Jim Harbaugh more money than Michigan did, many fans took that as a sign that owner Mark Davis was ready to hire a big name to be the next head coach of the Silver and Black. But since then, the Raiders have been linked to some of the most uninspiring names available.
Rather than being tied to names like Rex Ryan, Josh McDaniels, Darrell Bevell, Adam Gase or Dan Quinn, they are being tied to guys like Pat Shurmur, Jack Del Rio, Pep Hamilton, Eric Mangini and Mike Holmgren. None of these guys are terrible and all would represent a much better option than Dennis Allen, but there are a lot of names that should be higher on their list than these ones.
If Raiders fans are looking for a rock star head coach, these are not the names they hoped to see.
It has been reported that every team with an opening at head coach has requested an interview with Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, so at least the Raiders have thrown their name in the hat for one of the top prospects. But to be perfectly honest, the Raiders will have a very hard time landing one of the top names with stronger teams like the San Francisco 49ers also looking for a head coach.
The Raiders need to cast a wide net and that is what they are doing. Even if they do not have a big chance of landing bigger names, the Raiders have to try. They have a few good young pieces and a lot of cap space, but without a good stadium or a winning tradition that anyone under 30 remembers, the Raiders need a strong figure on the sideline to convince impact free agents to come to Oakland.
If they fail to even request interviews with guys like Ryan, Gase, McDaniels and other top options, fans and media alike will remain pessimistic about the Raiders’ current leadership structure. McKenzie and Davis failed in their first head coaching hire and early appearances are not making people feel better about their second effort. But fans should be patient. The Raiders’ hire may end up taking a week or two and there are likely to be many more names tied to the Raiders before that happens. One can only hope that those names will be better than the ones floated so far.