College Coach of the Year Could Be ‘Tempted’ by Raiders Job: Report

mark davis

Getty Las Vegas Raiders owner Mark Davis.

Just a month ago, it looked like the Las Vegas Raiders were ready for sweeping changes across the organization. The team has now won three straight games and will be in the playoffs if they can beat the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday. Interim head coach Rich Bisaccia originally looked like a temporary replacement for Jon Gruden, who resigned earlier in the season, but now he could get a real shot at keeping the job.

If the Raiders beat the Chargers, it will mean that they’re going to the playoffs for just the second time since 2002. Considering all the drama surrounding the franchise, Bisaccia deserves a ton of credit for keeping this team afloat. However, owner Mark Davis could still be looking to make a splash at head coach.

Perhaps the biggest name who could be available in the offseason is Michigan football head coach Jim Harbaugh. According to Bruce Feldman of The Athletic, the former San Francisco 49ers skipper could have his eyes on the NFL again and the Raiders are a logical landing spot.

And now, The Athletic is hearing rumblings, both from the NFL side and at Michigan, that Harbaugh might be tempted to leave the Wolverines to return to the NFL. “I think it’s real,” said one source this week when asked about the possibility of Harbaugh being interested in heading back to the NFL.

The Raiders head coaching job might be tough for him to say no to given his ties to the organization — he started his coaching career there in 2003 — and the fact that there’s already a solid quarterback in place in Derek Carr. He’s also friends with Raiders owner Mark Davis.

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Is Harbaugh the Right Guy for the Raiders?

Harbaugh to the Raiders would be a long time coming. As Feldman noted, he started his coaching career with the team. Throughout the years, the Raiders have been interested in him as the head coach but he’s always ended up elsewhere. Things are different now and it could be the perfect time for him to rejoin the team.

Harbaugh makes a ton of sense in Las Vegas. In four seasons with the 49ers, he had no losing seasons and led them to a 44-19 record. They went to the NFC Championship game for three straight years, making it to the Super Bowl in one of them. The reason that things soured in San Francisco was due to his relationship with ownership and the front office. He’s friends with Davis so that’s a lot less likely to be an issue with the Raiders. Though he had some recent struggles at Michigan, he’s proven to be an elite NFL coach. Davis has proven in the past that he’s willing to spend big money to land a high-level coach and he could be gearing up to do it again with Harbaugh.

What if Bisaccia Leads the Raiders to the Playoffs?

If there is mutual interest between Harbaugh and the Raiders, the situation could prove complicated. It’s very possible that the team makes the playoffs this season. Davis can’t just ignore what Bisaccia was able to do given the circumstances surrounding the team. Even if the Raiders lost to the Chargers, he’ll at least get an interview to keep the job.

However, barring a miracle Super Bowl run, Bisaccia may not have a real chance to keep the head coaching job over Harbaugh. It all comes down to who Davis credits for keeping the team afloat. He may believe that it was quarterback Derek Carr. He could also credit defensive coordinator Gus Bradley, who has the defense playing at a high level over the last few games. Bisaccia has proven to be a great leader and the players love him but can he put together the right staff? Can he make tough personnel decisions or make better in-game adjustments? These are all variables that Davis will have to take into account. Harbaugh is a proven commodity and that may win out in the end.

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Louden Kliehr
Louden Kliehr
1 year ago

During the late Mr Davis’ prime years he mainly hired offensive coaches as he focused on defense. So whoever takes the position of head coach with the Raiders has got to be able to help turn this defense back into the beast it once was. There are elements already playing well. They just need a few more pieces on the starting roster and some depth. Is Gus Bradley the guy? Don’t know. He’s certainly brought some pride, poise, and tackling skills back to a team that once fielded some of the league’s finest defenses: strong at every position. I like Jim Harbaugh. I know that he had a lot of respect for Al and had volunteered to be HC while in San Diego. But why leave your dream job to take on a task that is going to require another year or so to continue the re-build. I could see Jim and Carr having a great time together, though. But JH has never had to focus on the D-side of the ball. And that’s if Carr is still Raiders QB come ’22. The White TeleTubby, MarDav, is so devoid of Silver & Black blood, I don’t put it past him trading Carr. Trying at least. I believe DC when he says that he only wants to be a Raider. Then there’s Mayock, a guy that looked good on paper as GM. But so did Reggie. If they never draft another DB in the first round there may be hope. In fact, it may fit them to just pile up 2nd-6th round picks until this once again becomes the team top-flight players seek to be a part of. Hey, everyone looks good in Raiders threads. And until then the only bowl this team will see is the one placed upon the mushy noggin of Mark Davis on haircut day.

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