The Oakland Raiders are starting over once again at the head coaching position. The team got Jon Gruden to agree to return to the team and sign a lucrative long-term deal in order to do it.
The firing of head coach Jack Del Rio was a bit of a surprise considering the success he had in his short time in Oakland. Del Rio was rumored to be on the hot seat in the final few weeks of the 2017 campaign and it seems as though it was because Gruden had already agreed to coach the Raiders for a second stint.
Owner Mark Davis admitted as much, according to Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk.
Raiders owner Mark Davis confirmed what has been widely suspected: He got Jon Gruden to agree to become the next head coach of the Raiders first, then fired Jack Del Rio, then conducted the required Rooney Rule interviews.
With the Raiders brass wasting absolutely no time in firing Del Rio after the season finale against the Los Angeles Chargers, it seemed inevitable that the team had Gruden ready to get back on the sideline in Oakland.
As expected, it didn’t take long to Gruden to confirm that fact with subtle hints in interviews following the Raiders announcing Del Rio’s departure. Of course, the Rooney Rule made it so an official announcement couldn’t be made until the team complied with the requirements.
Although the Raiders have taken some heat for the quick hiring of Gruden and potentially not complying with the Rooney Rule, the team maintains they did everything they were required to do interviewing two minority candidates. If they didn’t comply, it’ll be interesting to see the fallout in Oakland as it could be disastrous for Gruden and the organization.