How Tony Sparano Can Coach Oakland Raiders Beyond 2014

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September 29, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders assistant head coach/offensive line coach Tony Sparano (center) in front of guard Mike Brisiel (65) and offensive guard Lamar Mady (63) against the Washington Redskins before the game at Coliseum. The Redskins defeated the Raiders 24-14. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

It was cool to fantasize about Jon Gruden coming back to the Oakland Raiders for a minute but it’s time to move on. If Gruden were to come back, it wouldn’t be this year and the Raiders have the rest of this season to play starting Sunday. And interim head coach Tony Sparano gives me plenty of reason to believe that he can turn the Oakland Raiders around.

His coaching style and experience of changing the culture of a loosing team is perfect for the Raiders right now. Turning a 1-15 team into a 11-5 team as he did with the Miami Dolphins is no small feat and the way he did it was impressive. Sparano’s teams were extremely physical and would run through a brick wall for him so I expect the same in Oakland.

In fact, Sparano would still be coaching the Dolphins if quarterback Chad Pennington didn’t tear a rotator cuff in 2009. He said at his introductory press conference, “Things can change with philosophies.” and those changes are coming.  And if it’s the philosophy change that he seems to have in mind, Sparano could remain the Raiders head coach beyond this year.

Turn the page to see how.