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5 Possible head coach candidates for Las Vegas Raiders

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After Jon Gruden’s resignation/firing from the Las Vegas Raiders in the wake of damning emails, Rich Bisaccia has taken over as interim head coach. It remains to be seen whether he will be retained as head coach. Here are five potential head coach candidates for the Las Vegas Raiders.

Rich Bisaccia

Bisaccia was the Raiders’ special teams coach before being elevated to interim head coach status following Gruden’s exit. He opened his head coaching tenure with a 34-24 win over the division rival Broncos.

Consistency would be nice for a franchise enduring the struggles that the Raiders currently are facing. The main obstacle in Bisaccia’s path to full-time head coach is the fact that he was brought on by Gruden. Being a “Gruden guy” may preclude the Raiders from rolling with him, as they try to distance themselves from the former coach.

With that being said, if Bisaccia delivers a playoff berth to Las Vegas, it would be hard to argue too vehemently against him.

Eric Bieniemy

Bieniemy has been at the top of every list of potential head coach candidates for three years. Yet, somehow, he continues to remain as Kansas City’s offensive coordinator. Unfortunately, little is known about why that might be. Perhaps he simply loves the Chiefs too much, wants to remain on a Super Bowl favorite team, or maybe he truly does not interview well.

Raiders head coach

Eric Bieniemy is one of the most sought-after head coaching candidates in the NFL. (Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images)

Frankly, the optics of hiring a head coach of color would be good for the Raiders, due entirely to the content of the emails for which Gruden was let go. The team could win some good will by doing an about-face from that kind of behavior and leadership. Hiring a non-white head coach will be seen as the team doubling down on their commitment to distance themselves from Gruden.

Regardless of the optics, Bieniemy would be perfect for a team that was built by an offensive mind. The Raiders have Henry Ruggs III, who would fill a Tyreek Hill role. They have Darren Waller, who is a top-5 tight end much like Travis Kelce. The quarterback may not be Mahomes-level but Carr is still a good player. Round it off with a better running game than the Chiefs put on the field and the fit is perfect.

Bieniemy is the correct mind for this offense. He will bring the creative play-calling he has learned under Andy Reid to Las Vegas and could take this talented offense to the next level. Not to mention he already has vast knowledge of the AFC West.

Kellen Moore

The Cowboys are going to be worse if they let go of Moore. That is simply the reality of the situation. He is a solid, if at times by-the-books offensive coordinator that specializes in getting the most out of the talent on the field.

As stated above, the Raiders have an abundance of offensive talent and need a coach like Moore to help them maximize their potential. He could also unlock Derek Carr’s next level, as he played the position for eight NFL seasons and brought Dak Prescott from good to great.

If the Cowboys continue their current trajectory and make an NFC Championship Game or Super Bowl appearance, head coach Mike McCarthy will likely be retained. If they fall short of those goals in the playoffs, fans and the front office might demand accountability in the form of McCarthy’s firing. The firing of McCarthy will no doubt result in Moore being the next head coach in Dallas.

Despite that glaring hurdle that is completely dependent on the rest of Dallas’ season, Moore is likely at the top of general manager Mike Mayock’s list.

Doug Pederson

Doug Pederson is an extremely safe choice for the Raiders’ next head coach. He was a quarterback that played professionally from 1991-2004. As a coach, he moved directly from the high school level to the NFL as a quarterback coach. In just eight years in assistant roles, he was promoted to head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles. In his second season there, he won the Eagles their first Super Bowl.

Raiders head coach
Pederson is a safe choice for the Raiders’ next head coach. (Photo by Robert Deutsch/USA TODAY Sports)

That is a classic rise-to-power story in the NFL. The Super Bowl 52 win is simply the cherry on top. Other than his quasi-contentious exit from Philadelphia after the 2020 season, there are not any other red flags that would dissuade the Raiders from hiring Pederson. A safe, if uninteresting, head coach of the next few seasons.

Todd Bowles

Everything that was said above regarding hiring a head coach of color applies to Bowles’ potential hire as well. It would look good for the Raiders to distance themselves from racist remarks by hiring a black head coach.

With that aside, Bowles is an interesting selection here. As a defensive coordinator, he has gotten the most out of a Tampa Bay defense that managed to shut down a prolific offense in Super Bowl 55. The front seven are especially impressive under Bowles. The problem is, however, the glut of the Raiders’ talent lives on offense.

Mike Mayock would need to bolster this team significantly through the draft and trade market for Bowles to shine in Las Vegas. Bowles would also need a trustworthy and creative offensive coordinator to get the most out of this high-powered offense.

Some will point to his failure as a head coach with the New York Jets. That team, however, was bereft of talent and direction. Most would have failed in that spot. Bowles, however, would not be going to a Jets-type situation in Las Vegas. They are a few pieces away from being a threat in the AFC West. Bowles can capitalize on that if the coaching hires and player signings turn out well.

Featured image courtesy of Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

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