Oakland Raiders: Head Coaching Candidates if Harbaugh Goes to Michigan?

5 of 5

Nov 30, 2014; St. Louis, MO, USA; Oakland Raiders head coach Tony Sparano looks on against the St. Louis Rams during the second half at the Edward Jones Dome. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Tony Sparano

Tony Sparano, current interim head coach, may also keep his job.  Sparano, who was appointed the Raiders’ interim head coach beginning in Week 5 after the dismissal of Dennis Allen, has led the team to a 2-8 record, losing his first six games in a row after being named to the interim post. While the team has shown significant improvement in two wins over the past four weeks, the team has also suffered their worst blowout since the early 1960’s in that time in a 52-0 drubbing by the Saint Louis Rams.

Raider fans are familiar with Sparano, who began the season as the Raiders’ offensive line coach.  An offensive coach for most of his career, he has been a head coach before: he led the Dolphins to a 29-32 record in almost four years there, being fired late in the 2011 season. His tenure in Miami started well, with an 11-5 record and a playoff appearance in 2008, but quickly descended into mediocrity as NFL defenses quickly adjusted to his “Wildcat” schemes. Sparano spent 2012 as the offensive coordinator with the Jets under Rex Ryan, and that didn’t go very well either, resulting in him coming to Oakland in 2013 as an offensive line coach.

Live Feed

Colts are reportedly hiring Tony Sparano Jr. for the team’s most important position
Colts are reportedly hiring Tony Sparano Jr. for the team’s most important position /

Horseshoe Heroes

  • Colts take another assistant from Brian Daboll's NY Giants staff GMEN HQ
  • Miami Dolphins training center videos as team moves from Davie Phin Phanatic
  • Brian Flores is already better than these Miami Dolphins head coaches Phin Phanatic
  • Recap: Looking back at the Miami Dolphins last ten years Phin Phanatic
  • A decade of coaching changes couldn't fix the Miami Dolphins Phin Phanatic
  • Sparano is clearly very popular in the Raider locker room, something that has been attested to over and over by Derek Carr, Latavius Murray, Charles Woodson and others. Sparano has worked very hard to make the Raiders a respectable football team despite some significant injures, a lack of talent in some position groups, and a lack of experience in others, against the toughest schedule in the league. Sparano has led the team to a couple of impressive late-season wins at home against rivals. But he’s also presided over some pretty horrific losses, and the team hasn’t managed to put together back-to-back competitive efforts under him yet.  He’s certainly not the worst candidate for the head job but he’s definitely not the best. He has no track record in developing young QB’s, and right now the Raiders are looking to build around their future franchise passer. It’s incredibly unlikely that Tony Sparano hangs around after this forgettable season.