After one of the most shocking sagas in NFL history, Jon Gruden is out as the Las Vegas Raiders head coach. Soon, the Raiders will be searching for a new leader of the franchise, and when they do, they need to pay attention to these coaches.
Eric Bieniemy (Kansas City Chiefs)
The Chiefs offensive coordinator since 2018; Bieniemy has been a hot name for head coach vacancies in recent years. However, for a myriad of reasons, he has not been hired. Some of these reasons have to do with his checkered past, questions of how much involvement he has with the Chiefs offense, and potentially, the color of his skin.
Regardless, this is a chance the Raiders should take. After watching the Chiefs play in consecutive Super Bowls on the back of the offense, the Raiders should want a piece of the action. Dreams of Darren Waller and Henry Ruggs III being used in similar roles to Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill will have fans salivating. From the perspective of optics, hiring a minority coach after Gruden’s comments could show a progression from the team
Kellen Moore (Dallas Cowboys)
Another bright offensive mind. In Dallas, Moore is the leader of a high octane offense full of playmakers. With the Raiders, he would be able to call these plays with Ruggs, Waller, and Josh Jacobs.
Currently, the Cowboys’ offense leads the NFL in yards per game. That is a far cry from the one formerly led by Jon Gruden that has endured much of the blame for the losses in consecutive weeks. Moore is also a young, former player who can relate to players on a different level than a guy like Gruden. Someone is going to bring Moore in; it’s just a matter of who.
Joe Brady (Carolina Panthers)
Would you look at that, another young, offensive-minded coach. Currently the Carolina Panthers offensive coordinator, Brady has established himself as one of the brightest young minds in the sport. He put on a show with the LSU Tigers in 2019 as their passing game coordinator as he helped lead one of the greatest offenses in NCAA history. With the Panthers, Brady has often been tasked with making bad quarterbacks look good. So far, he has done this with Sam Darnold. As such, if the Raiders elect to add a young quarterback this offseason, pairing him with Brady could prove fruitful.
The NFL has long been moving towards forward-thinking offensive minds at head coach. In 2018, the Raiders went against the grain with the hire of Gruden and needless to say, it didn’t work out. This time, the Raiders should look to follow the trend. With young and exciting offensive pieces in Jacobs, Ruggs, Waller, and Hunter Renfrow, they will be a sought-after destination for all potential head coaches.
*Top Photo: D. Ross Cameron/Associated Press