Dec 21, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders interim head coach Tony Sparano shouts at players during action against the Buffalo Bills in the fourth quarter at O.co Coliseum. The Raiders defeated the Bills 26-24. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
Oakland Raiders interim head coach Tony Sparano had his ups and downs taking over a struggling team that had one of the most difficult 2014 schedules in the league into a team that won their final three home games to close the year with some optimism, but it appears he may have done just enough to put him in the discussion to keep the job he was given when Dennis Allen was fired.
As Jim Harbaugh appears headed to Michigan, there are reports that Sparano will be in the mix for the Raiders head coaching job as the interim head coach from the just finished 2014 season.
If Sparano does keep the job going into 2015 it will be after owner Mark Davis has exhausted many options as it still appears that Davis will want a flashier head coach than the one who finished the season for the Raiders. Sparano has one playoff run in his head coaching career so with names floating around with better careers or coordinators with bigger buzz around him will be able to vault him in the head coach search quite easily.
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What Sparano does have going for him is earning respect in the locker room during the final stages of the season, but it will still likely take struggles in finding an improvement to take over for the interim head coach to remain in charge for the future. If that does happen there will be a segment of fans positive that Sparano can continue to motivate the team into a better 2015, but some may be disappointed that a bigger name didn’t come to replace the interim head coach who still had a losing record on the sideline. For now Sparano is a deserving candidate that should likely be viewed as one of the outside candidates even if he finished the year as the interim head coach for Davis and general manager Reggie McKenzie.