The search for a head coach is going to be a pivotal decision for Las Vegas Raiders owner Mark Davis who had to endure the incompetencies of former head coach Josh McDaniels.
Davis was hoping to erect his version of the New England Patriots when he brought in Dave Ziegler and McDaniels, but the pair instead ran the franchise into the ground with one poor decision after another. Davis eventually fired Ziegler and McDaniels, turning the Raiders over to Champ Kelly and Antonio Pierce in the interim.
Pierce has done a good job of rallying the locker room and keeping the team competitive, though he still needs to prove that he’s worth keeping around for the long term. The players have enjoyed having Pierce in charge, but the decision ultimately lies with Davis who has a penchant for making the splashy move.
According to Holden Carpenter of Sports Illustrated, Davis is reportedly considering a reunion with former Raiders head coach Jon Gruden via The Las Vegas Raiders Insider podcast:
“I am going to tell you there are a lot of people who feel that Mark Davis, more than [Tom] Brady, and Jim Gray, the person he trusts the most is Jon Gruden and would love to bring him back. I am hearing from multiple people around the league that if Jon were willing to drop his lawsuit, they believe the NFL would give a passive nod to go back and re-hire him… everyone keeps talking about Jon Gruden.”
Gruden stepped down as head coach when his emails to former Washington Commanders executive Bruce Allen were leaked. The content in the emails was found to be racist, sexist and homophobic and Davis and the team had no choice but to ask Gruden to resign.
However, Gruden didn’t let things end there as he issued a lawsuit against the NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell for orchestrating his leave. The lawsuit is currently ongoing, though the NFL is currently waiting to have its appeal heard after an initial ruling denied moving Gruden’s lawsuit from a public courtroom to a private hearing.
It feels like re-hiring Gruden wouldn’t go well with the league and the fanbase considering what transpired years ago now. There’s no denying that Gruden is as knowledgeable about football as anyone, but the optics wouldn’t be great.