Head Coaching Candidates for the Las Vegas Raiders

Source: Joe Camporeale/USA TODAY Sports

The national media was set ablaze on Monday as Jon Gruden resigned as the head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders amid several controversial emails he had sent dating back to 2011. The grotesque contents of those emails left the Raiders no choice but to quickly accept Gruden’s resignation and promote assistant head coach and special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia to interim head coach.

While there is a chance Bisaccia impresses and remains head coach of the Raiders beyond the 2021 season, the Raiders will most likely want to go in a completely opposite direction by the offseason. There are plenty of other potential candidates out there Las Vegas can take a look at to become the team’s next head coach. Below is a list of a handful of possible replacements for Gruden that could intrigue the Raiders the most.

Lincoln Riley

If there is a head coaching vacancy in the NFL, you can rest assured that Lincoln Riley will be linked to the opening. The head coach of the Oklahoma Sooners has created one of the best collegiate offenses over the last few years while coaching up multiple quarterbacks taken first overall and several other productive starters in the NFL.

With that kind of resume, it’s only natural the Raiders would give him strong consideration to take over the helm of the team. However, Riley has been adamant about his desire to remain the head coach at Oklahoma, so it remains to be seen whether or not he would even be interested in jumping ship to the NFL at this time. It would take a lot of convincing (and a lot of money) from Raiders owner Mark Davis to pry Riley away from the collegiate ranks, but he certainly has the resources to do so.

Brian Daboll

Daboll has been the offensive coordinator for the Buffalo Bills since 2018 and the work he has done for the team has been magnificent. QB Josh Allen was viewed as a massive project brimming with physical potential who was years away from being a quality starting quarterback when the Bills took him with the seventh overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.

Fast forward three years and Josh Allen is a perennial MVP candidate. Daboll not only works with what he has, but he gameplans around his team’s capabilities, magnifying their strengths while reducing the weaknesses. He has been an NFL coach for 21 years. He knows his way around the league at this point and knows exactly what being a head coach in the league requires.

Daboll is certainly a lock to be a head coach next season and he would help unlock a Raiders offense that is bursting at the seams with potential.

Kellen Moore

At only 33 years-old, Kellen Moore is one of the youngest coaches in the league. But as Rams head coach Sean McVay has shown the world, age is just a number. Moore is currently the Cowboys’ offensive coordinator and has turned that unit into a near unstoppable scoring machine.

Dallas currently ranks second in the league in terms of yards per game and points per game. With QB Dak Prescott under center and surrounded by a myriad of talented players at the skill positions, the Cowboys offense has always had potential. But Moore has seemingly unlocked that potential and unleashed the machine that has been waiting to breakout for several years.

Moore doesn’t have the experience that others on this list possess, but he makes up for it with a youthful energy and a sharp understanding for what makes a team truly tick. He won’t have long to wait before he is running his own team.

Todd Bowles

Todd Bowles not becoming a head coach after the performance of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense throughout the playoffs last season was surprising, to say the least. That could work out in the favor of the Raiders. Bowles has turned Tampa Bay’s unit into a fearsome defense that has shut down great quarterbacks such as Aaron Rodgers and Patrick Mahomes.

Bowles had a previous stint as head coach with the New York Jets but don’t let his success, or lack thereof, scare you away. He is given more responsibilities with the Buccaneers than most coordinators, and he knows what it takes to be a successful coach in the NFL.

The Raiders have been struggling on defense for the last several years and Bowles can come in right away and help whip that unit into shape. In a division that boasts some of the best offenses in the league, having a head coach that can manage an elite defense would be a blessing for Las Vegas.

Joe Brady

Consider this to be in the same vein as Kellen Moore. Brady is a young offensive coordinator who does not let his age stand in the way of his talents as a coach. Brady is one of the brightest playcallers in the league who can turn the Raiders offense into a dangerous scoring machine.

Brady has helped with the reinvigoration of QB Sam Darnold while helping superstars RB Christian McCaffrey and WR D.J. Moore maximize their potential. Considering the young talent the Raiders boast on offense, it’s not unfathomable to think Brady can take this offense and put it in the echelon of Kansas City and Dallas.

Eric Bieniemy

This connection is so obvious that it’s painful. What better way to topple one of your biggest rivals than to hire one of the men who means so much to their organization? It’s borderline ridiculous that Bieniemy is still waiting for a head coaching gig, but he may not have to wait for much longer.

The success of the Kansas City offense has been why the Chiefs have been a perennial Super Bowl contender the last few years. Bieniemy has been a big reason for that success. Learning under coaching great Andy Reid, Bieniemy knows the exact approach to run a team. What better way to get out of the shadow of his mentor than to become head coach of a division rival? Bieniemy would have a plethora of offensive tools in Las Vegas and could certainly help to turn the Raiders into a threat in the AFC West for years to come.

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