Jack Del Rio had the Oakland Raiders looking like a serious Super Bowl contender coming into the 2017 NFL season. Unfortunately, the team finished the year with a 6-10 record and he was immediately fired. It is yet another reminder of how quickly things can change in the NFL.
According to a report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Raiders are targeting former head coach Jon Gruden to be their next head coach. The deal is expected to include part ownership of the team in addition to being their head coach. That is an offer that very few people could turn down, especially someone that has been itching to return to the game.
Gruden coached four years in Oakland during his first tenure, finishing with a 38-26 record. He then went to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and finished that chapter of his career with a 57-55 record.
There are very few former head coaches that have the type of resume that Gruden has put together. He has been coveted in recent years by teams trying to bring him back to the sidelines, but the Raiders seem to have a perfect opportunity to get him out of coaching retirement.
ESPN declares that ESPN employee Jon Gruden will be the next head coach of the Raiders https://t.co/HU7RqEyRNj
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) January 1, 2018
Franchise quarterback Derek Carr was asked about the reports of Gruden potentially becoming the new head coach in Oakland.
“I know him. I’ve known him for a while. But it’s still pretty fresh [with Del Rio being fired].”
Del Rio talked about his firing and what Raiders’ owner Mark Davis said to him following his decision to remove him from the head coaching position.
“He told me he loved me and appreciated all I did to get this program going in the right direction, but that he felt the need to change. I told him how much I appreciated the opportunity he gave me; very grateful, my childhood team. But it’s a results business. I understand that.”
Bringing Gruden on board could be a big step in the right direction for Carr. He is known for working magic with quarterbacks and Carr is one of the most talented in the league.
Expect to hear more about the Gruden to Oakland situation in the near future. Oakland certainly would like to get something done and it is hard to believe that they would have fired Del Rio without having a good idea that they could bring Gruden in to replace him.