Raiders Continue Off-Season Search For 2009 Head Coach
After about a month into the Raiders off-season, AlN Davis has yet to decide on the team’s head coach for 2009. The Raiders are in a most curious off-season where over 20 members of the coaching staff have expired contracts. So far, the only coach slated to be on the 2009 staff is Lionel Washington, the teams DB coach.
More importantly, the head coach spot remains open for next season. Who’s available and likely to lead the silver and black next year?
After Davis fired Lane Kiffen, offensive line coach Tom Cable filled in admirably and led the Raiders to two impressive wins at the end of the season against Denver and Tampa. Presumed to be the team’s front runner, Tom Cable has officially interviewed for next seasons “permanent” head coach position this past week. Though Davis is looking to interview a few more coaches, the Raiders should reach a decision in the upcoming weeks.
The New York Giants former offensive coordinator interviewed with the Raiders this past week. According a team executive, “It went well. He had a good interview.” Though the team had previously reported having no interest in Gilbride, Gilbride remains in the mix with Cable and Harbaugh.
When I first heard whispers of Jim Harbaugh’s name float through the rumour mill, I confused him with his brother John Harbaugh. John, the Baltimore Raven’s rookie coach, took the Ravens this season all the way from the bottom of the AFC North and flipped their record from 5-11 to 11-5 finishing one game out of the Super Bowl.
As for John, currently the head coach at Stanford University, is in line to interview with the Raiders. The Raiders interest in Harbaugh is mainly his influence and potential to aid development of Jamarcus Russell. However, how much interest Harbaugh has in leaving Stanford for Oakland remains in the air.
Rob Ryan, considered the most qualified for the job, has just signed on as the the head coach for the New York Jets next season.
Also on the head coach firing line this season, two former Raider head coaches Mike Shanahan and Jon Gruden are looking for teams. How likely are they in coming back to Oakland? Probably as likely as the league reversing the infamous “Tuck Rule.”