With the regular season wrapping up, teams that are looking for a new head coach can start interviewing possible candidates. Rich Bisaccia isn’t dead in the water with the Las Vegas Raiders just yet but the team will likely still look at their options regardless of how the season ends. The Raiders have an appealing opening due to some good young pieces, a solid quarterback in Derek Carr, plenty of cap space this offseason and a desirable location in Las Vegas.
According to NFL insider Aaron Wilson, the team is starting to line up candidates. He named four coaches the Raiders are “expected to look at” in Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier, Gus Bradley and Bisaccia.
CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora has already reported on the Bowles interest but this is the first report connecting the team to Frazier. He’s been coaching in the NFL for over two decades and also used to play defensive back for the Chicago Bears. He led the iconic 1985 Bears defense in interceptions with six on their way to the Super Bowl.
Frazier has been a head coach with the Minnesota Vikings from 2011 to 2013. He led them to the playoffs once but was eventually fired after compiling a 21-32 record. Frazier is a great defensive mind but his stint as the head coach of the Vikings is concerning. It’s been almost a decade so perhaps he’s learned some new things along the way.
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Bisaccia or Bradley Realistic Options?
After helping navigate the Raiders through one of their toughest stretches ever, Bisaccia certainly deserves to at least be considered for the permanent head coaching job. He’s 5-5 in the 10 games he’s coached and could still lead the team to the playoffs. He wouldn’t be an inspiring hire as the Raiders have been wildly inconsistent since he took over. Even if they make the playoffs, it’s not a sure bet Bisaccia will be back.
It’s interesting that Wilson is reporting that Bradley will get a shot. He’s done a good job turning the Raiders defense around but it’s still not an elite unit. Owner Mark Davis can’t be happy about his team giving up 89 points in two combined games against the Kansas City Chiefs this season. Also, Bradley’s experience as a head coach isn’t inspiring. In a little less than four seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars, he had a 14-48 record. It was one of the worst runs by a head coach in NFL history. The players love him and perhaps he can stay on as defensive coordinator with a new staff but it’s going to take a lot of convincing for Davis to seriously consider hiring him.
Raiders Appear to Be Looking for Defensive-Minded Coach
A big thing that sticks out with this list of coaching candidates is that the Raiders are looking at coaches with head coaching experience and expertise on defense. Outside of Bisaccia, all of the coaches mentioned are currently defensive coordinators. It’s still early in the process but it is notable.
The Raiders defense has been a mess for years. Perhaps Davis wants to bring in a coach that will fix the defense long-term. That said, two of the last three head coaches for the team had defensive backgrounds in Dennis Allen and Jack Del Rio. Both of them flamed out and got fired. Davis should focus on simply finding the best coach to lead this team, not just the best offensive or defensive mind.