Sep 30, 2014; Alameda, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie (left) and Tony Sparano (right) during a press conference to introduce Sparano as Raiders interim coach at the Raiders practice facility. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
The Oakland Raiders will once again look forward to another Head Coaching search this off season. Many fans and media alike had their little hearts broken when Jim Harbaugh decided to join the college ranks to become the new head coach at Michigan.
I too thought it was a match made in football heaven….then I remembered Mark Davis is the owner of our beloved Raiders. I soon realized Harbaugh was just out of our league. Which is kinda sad given that he took a college job over a head coaching job in the NFL. Reports surfaced that Harbaugh was not comfortable with the ownership in Oakland, and frankly I agree with him.
If Mark Davis does not pull off a miracle in these next few seasons, I could easily see the “Raiders” up for sale very soon. Why would Harbaugh join an organization with an inexperienced owner, who can not find funding for a stadium, and who seems to be on the NFL’s bad side.
In my opinion Tony Sparano is a solid Head Coach, hell I’ll even say he is a good head coach and deserves another shot in the NFL. When Tony was hired by the Raiders in 2013 and designated assistant Head Coach, to go along with his role as offensive line coach, I could see the writing on the wall. Should Dennis Allen falter at any point, Tony Sparano would take over….and that is exactly what happened. Obviously Mark and Reggie did not feel comfortable with either Jason Tarver or Greg Olson taking over, and I would assume Old Man Al Saunders wanted no part of the top job. Sparano was a great hire, as Dennis Allen just seemed to rub players the wrong way from the get go. Not to mention a complete lack of Savy and Swagger needed to guide the Raiders, Allen brought boring rigid discipline, and inspired very few.
Sparano is down to earth, tell it to you straight, take no BS type of coach, and players can relate to him. All of this was obvious after taking over for the fired Dennis Allen in 2014. Sparano actually reminds a lot of former interim head coach Tom Cable, which some fans view as the one that got away.
What I don’t see from Tony Sparano is a Super Bowl caliber coach, I do not see a coach that can turn around a franchise looking to rise from the ashes. I also do not see a Head Coach who can not only win on the football field, but win with investors and future business partners for the Oakland Raiders.
You see the Raiders need more than just a coach, they need someone who transcends the game, a true figure and leader of the franchise…..They needed Jim Harbaugh (sorry won’t mention his name again). The Raiders needed a Jon Gruden, they need a Head Coach who can grab this franchise by the throat and will it to Win….Is there anybody out there?
Look the Raiders are still at least two seasons away from the playoffs, and that is if they have two solid drafts and get a few key free agents. But as I said before, this is about more than football. For Mark Davis and the Raiders, this is about salvaging the team and ensuring the Raiders remain in the hands of the Davis family, whether you agree with that or not.
So who is out there, who can be the “Rock Star” Head Coach the Raiders so desperately need? Two names are on my list, one each from each side of the ball.