Mark Davis reportedly would love to bring Gruden back…
Plenty of names are going to be—and have been—tossed around regarding the Las Vegas Raiders’ search for a new head coach. In fact, the last person who held the full-time job is reportedly a candidate; Jon Gruden.
If the NFL would let it, Raiders owner Mark Davis would seize the chance to re-hire Gruden, according to Hondo Carpenter of Sports Illustrated.
Carpenter stated on the “Las Vegas Raiders Insider Podcast” that “I’m going to tell you there are a lot of people who feel that Mark Davis… the person he trusts the most [in the NFL] is Jon Gruden and would love to bring him back.”””I’ve heard from a number of folks in the league that the NFL would passively approve of Jon returning and being rehired if he were to abandon his case against the league. Everyone is always discussing Jon Gruden.
In my opinion, that has the makings of a terrible decision, and below are a few reasons why.
Gruden is an excellent coach, but as a general manager and talent scout, he falls short. When he was granted the authority to choose Bruce Allen as the team’s general manager towards the conclusion of his time with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, it became an issue.
Chucky committed a similar error during his second tenure with the Silver and Black when he appointed Mike Mayock as general manager and assumed complete control over the squad. Mayock acknowledged that Gruden was his boss, and there was constant gossip that the coach had the last say over the team’s early-round draft selections. The Raiders gained notoriety during that period for selecting first-round flops in players like Clelin Ferrell, Damon Arnette, Alex Leatherwood, and Henry Ruggs, among others.
Why then would things be any different this time? In the event that Gruden is appointed head coach, he will also demand complete control over the roster.
Additionally, Las Vegas has attempted—and both failed—the concept in which the general manager and head coach are inseparable and the former has the last say in hiring cycles. Although Dave Ziegler and Josh McDaniels had been friends for a long time, it obviously didn’t work.
It’s time to adopt an alternative approach and, at the very least, give the general manager the reins when it comes to hiring choices.
Gruden was awful toward the end of the season, as the tweet and post from Moe Moton of Bleacher Report makes clear. The 2019 squad was 6-4 and had a chance to qualify for the playoffs until dropping five of its final six games. In contrast, the 2018 season was an utter disaster with only four victories. Essentially, the next season was the same as well; Las Vegas won six of the first nine games before dropping five of the last seven and missing the postseason once more.
The way the 2021 campaign concluded is much more incriminating for Gruden. He notably resigned from the Raiders that season in October as a result of the well-known email controversy, and the team ultimately ended strongly. They have triumphed in five of their previous seven games.
No Longer Offensive Guru
Gruden has been a sought-after candidate for head coach throughout his career in large part because of his reputation as a “offensive guru.” But that’s not actually the case any more.
During his second tenure with the Raiders, the squad just once finished in the top half of the league in terms of points scored in the four seasons. They were rated 28th, 24th, 10th, and 18th, in that order. To some extent, the game has moved past the 60-year-old former coach.
There will be many other young contenders who have a better track record over the previous several years, even though Gruden may still be a respectable offensive coordinator and play-caller.