3 Candidates Worth Considering
1. Antonio Pierce
Let's not make this more complicated than it needs to be. Since he took over for Josh McDaniels in October, the Raiders looked like an entirely different team. The vibes, as they say, were high. They ended up going 5-4 under Pierce, finishing the season with a win over Denver that secured them a second-place finish in the AFC West; considering where they were when he took over, that's no small feat. High profile players in that locker room -- Davante Adams and Maxx Crosby, to be specific -- have publicly campaigned for him to be the coach going forward, and it sounds like Crosby especially is prepared to put his job on the line for it. Keeping Pierce -- and Crosby -- seems like the easy decision.
2. Jim Harbaugh
Another easy call, if he wants it. Harbaugh seems to be *the* hot coaching candidate this cycle, which is wild when you look at who else is out there. He wins everywhere he goes, he's got the personality for the job, and is technically an alumni.
Harbaugh knows how to build teams, and the Raiders could certainly use an upgrade at a position or two. The proverbial lights don't seem too bright for Harbaugh, and that feels like a requirement to coach in Las Vegas. At the very least, it'd be must-watch TV.
3. Mike Vrabel
Vrabel's dismissal from Tennessee was already aging poorly, like, three days after it happened -- which feels like a sign that a lot of it had to do with the whims of impatient ownership, and not an indictment on his ability to coach football. In six years with the Titans, Vrabel had a record above .500 (54-45) and made the playoffs three times.
He managed to coach through some disastrous personnel decisions, and on more than one occasion, his out-of-contention team spoiled playoff plans. He checks off all the 'intangibles' that the Raiders say they want in a coach, as well as having, you know, a decent actual coaching record. It'd work.