Raiders Notes: McKenzie, Sparano, Gruden

Dennis Allen became the first NFL head coach of the 2014 season to be fired last night, after his Raiders lost all four of their games in September. Since then, rumors have been swirling about the team’s short-term solution at head coach, potential longer-term targets, and whether general manager Reggie McKenzie‘s job is safe. Here’s the latest out of Oakland:

  • After initially reporting (via Twitter) that Tony Sparano would not be taking over as the Raiders’ head coach, Fallon Smith of clarified (via Twitter) that McKenzie was being indecisive and then Sparano is still being considered. According to Ed Werder of (via Twitter), Sparano still looks like the most likely replacement for Allen, but offensive coordinator Greg Olson has made it known that he wants the job.
  • While McKenzie apologists may argue that he inherited an aging, overpriced roster, and has spent the last couple years getting out from under poor cap decisions, Alex Marvez of FOX Sports doesn’t believe the Raiders GM has shown any indications that he deserves to remain a part of the team’s rebuilding process. In Marvez’s view, McKenzie should be the next to go.
  • Tim Kawakami of the Bay Area News Group points out that GMs are rarely fired in the middle of a season, but thinks that owner Mark Davis will take a long look at replacing McKenzie in the offseason. If he decides to make a change, Davis figures to “put everything he has into a basket” for Jon Gruden before exploring other candidates, according to Kawakami, who adds that the former Raiders coach has long been Davis’ top choice to take over the club’s football operations.
  • Bill Williamson of (Twitter link) acknowledges that Gruden could potentially be in play for the Raiders in January, but thinks it’d be an easier sell if the Raiders were headed to Los Angeles with a new stadium lined up.
  • Williamson also notes (via Twitter) that the Raiders previously made a run at Mike Holmgren, speculating that perhaps he could be part of the team’s front office picture in 2015.
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