Raiders' Top Possible Candidates to Replace Gruden

Mark Davis and the Las Vegas Raiders have several names to choose from for the next head coach as soon as they determine the direction.

HENDERSON, Nev. — The Las Vegas Raiders are only a few hours removed from the stunning resignation of Jon Gruden. The NFL waits for no one, and that means while they have an interim coach, the search behind the scenes could start soon.

The problem is what coach would take the job until the detailed questions (you can read those here) we posed prior are answered.

After talking with multiple people around the NFL, we look at the top candidates to get the job.

Rich Bisaccia, Raiders interim coach

Mark Davis is not one known for the dramatic like his father. If Bisaccia got the job, it would mean that the Raiders made it to the playoffs, and Davis could keep the status quo.

Gus Bradley, Raiders defensive coordinator

If the Raiders defense has a terrific 2021 season, even if the offense struggled, this would allow Davis to remain comfortable and keep people already in the building. The players like Bradley, and this would be a safe pick.

David Shaw, Stanford Cardinal coach

Many NFL insiders told Sports Illustrated's Raider Maven that they feel Shaw is the early frontrunner. One said, "Coming off of this debacle, it would allow Mark to get praised, but unlike Eric Bieniemy, he has experience. Mark could enjoy the comfort of letting a football man take care of football, and one with a proven track record. This would be the safe pick."

Eric Bieniemy, Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator

One executive said, "This would be the best pick for the Raiders, but if Eric asked me, I would tell him no. A first-time coach doesn't want to be in a place that potentially has a vacuum of leadership. He can get a better situation, but he is a good coach and Mark could hurt his rival. If Mike [Mayock] picked him, that could be really good for the Raiders. But no way would I think he takes that job, without a clear leadership idea."  

Todd Bowles, Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive coordinator

One NFL executive told me, "He is the best candidate in my book, anywhere. He was good before [Tom] Brady, and the Bucs don't win last year without him." He has the experience, but the Raiders have built their reputation on offense. Another NFL member of team management told me, "That is the guy I think, but not sure he would take it. I think the Bucs would like him to follow Bruce [Arians]."

Joe Brady, Carolina Panthers offensive coordinator

As one person told us, "This is the total Raider pick. That kid is an offensive genius and a good coach. But he is green. I wouldn't be shocked if he was it, someone will give him a shot, but I am hearing he is the top choice at LSU [assuming they let Ed Orgeron go], and no way could Joe handle being the man in Las Vegas like Jon was."

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