When Rich Bisaccia took over as the Las Vegas Raiders‘ interim head coach, it looked like a longshot that he would keep the job going forward. He quickly led the team to two wins and it then looked like his chances of keeping the job were going up. After that strong start, the Raiders have lost four of five games and it’s almost a certainty that Bisaccia won’t be the head coach once the season ends.
Though the team has only had one winning season since 2002, it should be an attractive job for potential coaching candidates in the offseason. One interesting name for owner Mark Davis to ponder would be Clemson football head coach Dabo Swinney. The two-time National Champion was in attendance during Sunday’s game against the Washington Football Team donning Raiders gear.
Now, there may not be anything notable to come from Swinney being at the game. The Raiders have a number of his former Clemson players on the roster, including Hunter Renfrow, John Simpson and Clelin Ferrell. He could’ve simply just been there to support them. However, he’s already had a ton of success at the college level and could be looking for the next challenge.
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Renfrow Talks Swinney Being in Attendance
Over the years, the Raiders have proven that they love bringing in former Clemson players. Perhaps the most successful has been Renfrow, who is currently the team’s leading wide receiver. He was happy to see Swinney on the sideline but revealed that it’s probably best if he doesn’t come to any more games.
“He’s 0-for-2 watching me (play live), so I’m going to tell him not to come back,” Renfrow said after Sunday’s 17-15 loss to Washington. “He was at the Jets game a few years ago and we didn’t do very well.”
Renfrow did mention that he’d be going out to dinner with the coach so it’d be really interesting to know if the subject of who the Raiders’ next head coach would be.
Would Swinney Be the Right Fit?
The idea of Swinney taking over as the Raiders head coach is certainly interesting. He’s one of the most successful coaches in college football but Clemson fell on hard times this season. For the first time since 2014, the team lost more than two games in a season and isn’t in the conversation for the college football playoffs. The team isn’t bad by any stretch of the imagination but it’s not the powerhouse it has been over the past six seasons.
Instead of getting things back on track, Swinney can finally make the jump to the NFL. The Raiders would be the most ideal fit for him. He’d get to coach some of his top players from Clemson and would have all the resources he’d need to build a winner. However, it’s hard to know for sure if he’d be the right fit for the Raiders.
Swinney has no NFL experience as a player or a coach. All of his experience has been in the college ranks. The NFL has not been kind to college football coaches in recent years. We’ve seen coaches like Nick Saban barely last a couple of seasons in the pros before heading back to college. Swinney has been fortunate to almost always have the more talented team in a matchup outside of when he’s played Alabama. That’s not how it works in the NFL as the Raiders roster is going to need some help this offseason. It would interesting to see Swinney get a shot in the NFL but it seems risky for Davis to hire a coach with no coaching professionals. It would be worth the risk but recent history suggests that it wouldn’t be. Outside of Pete Carroll, no head coach hired directly from college has won a Super Bowl since 2000.