The Oakland Raiders have had eight different head coaches over the last 12 seasons, none of which has led the team to the playoffs, or even a winning record. The franchise is currently looking at multiple candidates, with hopes that one will be able to make them a winning franchise, once again.
After Dennis Allen was fired in the middle of the season, it appeared that Jim Harbaugh was at the top of owner Mark Davis’s list. With the former San Francisco 49ers head coach going to Michigan, the team will have to look elsewhere for Allen's replacement.
Tony Sparano took over for Allen in 2014, and the interim coach is being considered for the full-time position. The Raiders were still one of the worst teams in the league under Sparano, going just 3-9, but they showed improvement at the end of the year. Oakland won three of their last six games, and none of the teams they beat were under .500.
Sparano is considered to be one of the frontrunners to land the job. He coached the Miami Dolphins from 2008-2011, leading them to their only playoff appearance in the last decade. Sparano was let go, following three losing seasons.
Oakland continues to look outside of the organization, as well, and five candidates stand out among the rest.
Jack Del Rio
Of the experienced candidates that Oakland is looking at, Del Rio might have the best chance of landing the job. He was hired by the Jacksonville Jaguars for the 2003 season and spent nine years with the club. Del Rio compiled a 68-71 record in Jacksonville, making the playoffs twice and losing to the New England Patriots in the first round on both occasions.
Del Rio has been the Denver Broncos’ defensive coordinator for the last three seasons. Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network says the Raiders have “significant interest” in the 51-year-old, and Davis sought him out when Oakland played Denver in the regular season finale.
The Raiders have reportedly asked to speak with Mangini about their head coaching position. At just 43 years old, Mangini has already had two stops as a head coach, neither of which lasted more than three years. He took the New York Jets to the postseason in his first season, but was gone after finishing in third place in the AFC East in the next two years. Mangini had a pair of 5-11 seasons with the Cleveland Browns, before being let go.
Bowles is 51 years old with just a short stint as an interim head coach, but he’s one of the most highly sought after coaches in the NFL. According to Kent Somers of azcentral.com, every team with a head coaching vacancy has contacted the Arizona Cardinals about talking to their defensive coordinator. The Cardinals are currently in the playoffs, sporting a top five defense.
The offensive coordinator is barely 40 years old and he’s never been a head coach, but ESPN’s Josina Anderson has reported that the team has asked for permission to interview Hamilton. Hamilton coached Andrew Luck with Stanford, and now with the Colts. He’s helped him develop into a top quarterback, and Indianapolis ranked third in total offense in 2014.
The Raiders have reportedly asked to speak with the Philadelphia Eagles’ offensive coordinator, who had one short stint as a head coach. Like Mangini, he had two losing seasons with the Browns, before being given the boot. Partnering with Chip Kelly in Philadelphia, Shurmur coached a top four scoring offense in each of the last two seasons.