Oakland Raiders fans need to stop hoping for Jon Gruden
For more than a decade, the Oakland Raiders have been searching for a figure head and leader to be the Head Coach of this team. Rather it was Lane Kiffin, Hue Jackson, or Dennis Allen the Raiders have undoubtedly struck-out. However, Raider fans need to stop hoping for the grand-slam of coaching hires aka Gruden’s return to the bay area.
The truth is, if Gruden wanted the Raiders’ head coaching job he could have already had it. Not to mention, Gruden has already publicly stated he is not looking to coach again. I am sure he loves the fact that broadcast has way better hours than being an NFL coach.
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Sure, Gruden likes Derek Carr, but have you seen Gruden QB Camp? Is there a quarterback in the league Gruden does not like? He gets fired up for all of them, so I do not think it is as big of a bargaining chip as people want it to be.
Further, who said Gruden has anything really to offer the team. Outside of nostalgia, who said Gruden can make this team any better considering he last coached bad teams in Tampa. Sure he won a Superbowl, but he was coaching Tony Dungy’s team against his former Raider team.
Added, it is a different game than it was ten or even five years ago. With more implementations of running quarterbacks and spread offenses, it is not the same game Gruden coached a few years. Hence, hiring Gruden does not guarantee any more success than signing over-the-hill free agents.
The reality is, the Raiders do not need visionaries of football’s past. The Raiders do not need Jon Gruden, Mike Holmgren or Bill Cowher. Neither do the Raiders need a protege of some great coach. We tried that with Lane Kiffin (Pete Carroll coaching tree) and Jason Tarver (Jim Harbaugh coaching tree), and Hue Jackson (John Harbaugh coaching tree) and Dennis Allen (Sean Payton coaching tree). What the Raiders need is the visionary of tomorrow. We need the guy who will create his own coaching lineage.
As Christopher Hansen talked about in a recent column, the Raiders need someone not afraid to think differently. They need a renegade capable of winning his own way. Well Gruden resonates as the Raiders most recent image of said renegade, the Raiders need to find someone new.
They tried that with the Hue Jackson and Lane Kiffin experiences, but maybe they need someone just a little less crazy and power hungry.However, they need someone who can relate and inspire players like Jackson could.
Either way, the Raiders need to explore options outside of Gruden and any other retired coach. Whatever coaching options the Raiders explore, said potentials need to be active coaches at the college and NFL level rather than active broadcasters. Wherever the Raiders pull their next coach from, I know it will not be Gruden or any other broadcaster.
Until then, Raider fans need to put their hope into current Interim Head Coach Tony Sparano as he has the potential and resume to turn the team round. Otherwise, if your hoping for Gruden to be the messiah of this franchise than you will be disappointed once again.