The Raiders’ 2021-22 NFL season hasn’t yet come to an end, but, according to the rumors circulating in the NFL, Raiders’ owner Mark Davis is already locked-in on his preferred replacement hire for head coach. Davis hasn’t conducted an official search, but Mike Florio of NBC Sports confirms what most of the league is thinking: that Davis already knows who he wants.
As of right now, the hot gossip around the league is pointing to Davis pursuing current University of Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh. Harbaugh, of course, had a previous stint in the NFL, coaching the 49ers for four seasons. Harbaugh’s record as an NFL head coach stands at 44-19-1. Harbaugh went to the NFC Championship game in all of his first three seasons and even made it to the Super Bowl in his second year, only to lose to his older brother and the Ravens. Harbaugh’s fourth year saw the 49ers go 8-8 and resulted in the end of his contract.
Since his departure from the NFL, Harbaugh has been one of college football’s more eccentric coaches, leading the Wolverines to a 61-24 record since 2015 and helping Michigan to their first Big Ten Championship since 2004. The upside of Harbaugh is apparent as he has shown the ability to win at both levels.
Current interim head coach of the Raiders, Rich Bisaccia, may have something to say about that, though. Bisaccia took over after Jon Gruden’s noisy departure and has kept the ship upright, going 6-5 and keeping the Raiders alive in the playoff hunt. Things could get interesting if the team rallies under Bisaccia to make some noise in the playoffs.
According to Vic Tafur of The Athletic, Davis, who also owns the Las Vegas Aces, made a splashy hire for their head coaching position, pulling Becky Hammon away from the San Antonio Spurs. What’s interesting is that he told Bill Laimbeer, the incumbent head coach of the Aces from the previous season, that, if Hammon declined to take the position, Laimbeer would be retained. A similar offer could be in the cards for Harbaugh and Bisaccia.
The unfortunate part of this situation is that, when owners make up their mind like this before a search can be conducted, it makes a mockery of the league’s Rooney Rule. Davis will surely make sure his franchise complies with the rule, inviting ethnic-minority candidates in to interview, but interviews haven’t even begun to be planned, and the outcome already seems like a foregone conclusion.
Regardless, all signs are pointing to Jim Harbaugh becoming the next head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders with his main competition being the current interim head coach. Bisaccia looks to to make Davis’s decision a little more difficult tonight with a win against the Chargers.
30 comments on “Raiders’ HC Search Narrowing”
Keep coach Basaccia! He’s earned a shot!
Agreed! He’s guided this team through an extremely tumultuous season, and that’s probably an understatement. Give the guy the full time gig.
If Davis pivots to Harbaugh it’ll show he learned nothing from the Gruden mistake. You don’t need the splashy hire, you need the right hire. I mean Meyer was “splashy” in Jacksonville, and how’d that work out?
Not when a head coach like Harbaugh is available. Harbaugh is one of a kind.
“One of a kind” isn’t always a positive description…
In this case it is. He’s a great coach. Look at the 49ers teams he coached. They were downright scary. Raiders would be stupid to pass up an opportunity to land him cause someone “earned it”
How many rings does he have? Not that scary, but very arrogant.
No, go with Harbaugh/Fangio. Bradley has done nothing and Mayock isn’t great.
Start over with defense.
Basaccia has the respect of the team already and Mayock hasn’t been given the chance to really do much, Gruden made all calls on personnel
Personnel… maybe not, but the players… yeah, Mayock has been more misses than hits on that aspect of the team.
Cool, he can be the water boy while the grown ups are playing football. Win-win.
He looks lost as a HC.
Wholeheartedly disagree about Bradley. This team has played inspired defense almost every non-chiefs game. Including right now.
@Bellamy- Ugh. No, just no.
Harbaugh/Fangio comin to Chicago
Nah, chicago sucks and has no foundation to work with.
Jim Harbaugh GM/Coach NYG
Maybe Becky Hammon can get an interview! Would she count for the Rooney Rule?
I suspect the first interview question for Raider candidates will be “What kind of emails do you normally send?”.
Nothing would make any woman happier in a relationship than if her boyfriend said “Honey, you’re great. I promise we’ll get married… if this hot girl shoots me down. I’ll be right back”
We all know how things worked out the last time Davis “locked in” on a coaching choice…
Gruden wasn’t all that bad. This season has come together. Of course, going after Antonio Brown and giving up draft picks for that head case does not rank as one of Jon Gruden’s finest moments.
Gruden’s drafts were pretty bad. Overlooking the best WR in the 2020 class to take the 5th best WR first off the board is pathetic. Gruden built his rep on winning with Tony Dungy’s team and hasn’t done much since.
Gruden’s drafts were strange. The Dungy charge has been debated to death. It’s not really true either. Gruden has always relied on the camaraderie approach (as opposed to the Belichick cool and distant taskmaster approach) and at Gruden’s age, that schtick is going to become undone.
Gruden would be better back in a broadcast booth than on the sidelines. He did an okay job of coaching the Raiders. Would be ironic (if unlikely) if the Raiders went on to go to or win the Super Bowl.
Rooney Rule question: if the Raiders decide they want to keep Bassacia, so they need to open the interview process at all?
If your GM isn’t picking your head coach you are asking for problems. Makes you wonder if Mayock has been given his walking papers.
I would he has so many misses on personnel. Drafts guys like ruggs and Damon arnette. Drafting Ferrell over Josh allen and many more blunders. Fire mayock and bring in harbaugh and let him pick the gm and let him run the show.
Gruden had final say so those were his decisions. Gruden has never built a winner. He’s a solid OC, taking a talent loaded Tampa team to victory but he’s never built anything from scratch.
Not at all. Depends on the model you want to run. Having a GM & HC with equal standing simply puts the owner as the tie breaker which is the way the Raiders have been run for decades.
Does a team need to comply with the Rooney Rule in a coaching search if it simply decides to shed the “interim” from their head coach?
The Rooney rule is already a mockery
Harbaugh isn’t leaving Michigan. The only possibility is the Raiders, who gave him his NFL coaching start, but he’s very happy in Ann Arbor with total control over his program. College works better for Jim too. By the time a player is tiring of Jim’s relentlessness, it is time to graduate or leave for the NFL. In the NFL they just grow tired of him after 3-4 years and tune out. Jim is living his dream as Bo 2.0, which is why he took a pay cut to stay and donated his substantial bonus this year to the staff.