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Insider Reveals First Coach Raiders Plan to Interview for Head Job

Getty Las Vegas Raiders owner Mark Davis.

All things considered, Rich Bisaccia has done a solid job as the Las Vegas Raiders‘ interim head coach. Despite dealing with a number of situations even the most seasoned head coach would have trouble navigating in a year, Bisaccia has led the team to a 5-5 record in games he’s coached and they are still in the playoff hunt. However, owner Mark Davis is unlikely to forget about the two blowout losses to the Kansas City Chiefs this season when deciding who coaches his team next.

Bisaccia will get a chance to keep the job but the Raiders are likely to look elsewhere even if they make the playoffs. There should be a lot of interest in the job as taking over a team that was in the playoff hunt at the end of the year and has a young roster should be appealing to many. After going with an offensive-minded head coach in Jon Gruden, Davis could strongly consider bringing in a coach with more expertise on defense. According to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, the Raiders are planning to interview Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive coordinator Todd Bowles for the head coach in the coming weeks:

Bowles is a candidate who has come up with the Raiders in past searches, and his strong resume, and past head coaching success resonate with the owner, sources said. The Raiders defense has been an ongoing problem – both in terms of personnel and execution – and Bowles has a history of quickly improving that side of the ball, as he did as a coordinator in Tampa, helping that team win the Super Bowl a year ago. Bowles is held in very high regard by the Tampa brass, and has also been viewed by the Buccaneers organization as a potential replacement for head coach Bruce Arians, should he opt to retire at any point. Arians has battled cancer and other health issues in the past, and reassesses his health and career with his family after each season.

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Is Bowles’ Jets Tenure Concerning?

What Bowles has done with Tampa Bay’s defense has been impressive. They don’t win the Super Bowl last year if it wasn’t for his brilliant gameplan against the Chiefs. He’s clearly one of the best defensive minds in the league. However, he’s been considered that for years now and already had a head coaching opportunity.

When Bowles was the head coach of the New York Jets, he led them to a 10-6 record in his first season. It looked like the start of something promising but he didn’t win more than five games in any of the next three seasons before getting fired. In his defense, nobody can win with the Jets these days and he didn’t have a consistent quarterback during his time there. If he can bring in a strong offensive coordinator while he focuses on getting the defense to an elite level, this could have the potential to work. Derek Carr is significantly better than any quarterback Bowles had in New York. Not every head coach knocks it out of the park with their first team. Perhaps the Raiders would be a better situation for him and he’s certainly learned a lot since his time with the Jets. Hiring Bowles would show that Davis is committed to building a great defense in Las Vegas.

Davis Expected to Me With Many Candidates

While it sounds like Bowles will be getting an interview, he’s not going to be the only one. Davis plans to look at a lot of candidates for the opening this offseason, per La Canfora.

“Davis is expected to cut a wide swath in terms of how many candidates he meets with, and in terms of their backgrounds,” La Canfora wrote.

Bowles will get a fair shot but there’s going to be a lot of interest in this job. Davis can also look at a former Super Bowl winner in Doug Pederson or try to woo Jim Harbaugh away from Michigan. This should be a long process for Davis but he will have some great options.

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