Raiders to pursue Gruden as head coach, could offer ownership stake

Esther Moore
January 1, 2018

Gruden, 54, coached the Raiders to a 38-26 record over four seasons before being traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers by Al Davis in 2001.

But Oakland long has appealed to Gruden for a variety of reasons: He would return to an organization he didn't want to leave in 2001; he would inherit a young quarterback in Derek Carr whom he feels strongly about; and he would get to coach a team that is slated to move in 2020 to Las Vegas, where he would not have to pay state income tax.

Via Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, Rich Gannon's name keeps coming up as Gruden makes calls to round up potential members of a coaching staff. While he held the job, the Raiders never finished under.500, and made the playoffs during his final two seasons. An ownership stake, and the seniority bestowed by such a thing, is a lot to offer a guy whose best coaching days largely passed before I was old enough to buy my own drinks!

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Gruden is also, interestingly, being linked to the Bucs should they have an opening at head coach, which is certainly a possibility.

During a 6-10 finish in 2017 that resulted in a third-place finish in the AFC West, the Raiders struggled under offensive coordinator Todd Downing, fueled by a mediocre passing attack and a ground game that lingered near the bottom of the National Football League rankings all season despite the Raiders' big-money commitments to offensive linemen Kelechi Osemele, Gabe Jackson and Donald Penn. Sure that's not bad, but it seems unusual that any team would go to these lengths to bring him back now. "I'm here to help people". And there were the wacky rumors of Gruden going to Tennessee, which even involved a Knoxville BBQ joint apologizing for contributing to the rumors. But his connection with the Raiders and the fact that it was reported by Adam Schefter and Chris Mortenson, Gruden's colleagues at ESPN, lend this one more credibility.

The Jack Del Rio-led Raiders looked like they were on the rise after making the playoffs last season. The Raiders won't want to fire Del Rio unless they think they can get Gruden. ESPN first reported Oakland's intentions. But again, Gruden has not coached since 2008. His agent always uses the threat of going back to coaching as leverage with upping his deal at ESPN.

Other reports by GlobalViralNews

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