We are not lacking candidates to replace Hue Jackson. Reggie Mckenzie is doing everything he can to make the right decision and is moving fairly quickly considering the scope of the search. I am so anxious to hear who he hires that it is hard to wait. I understand it is going to take a considerable amount of time to do the due diligence on everybody though. This is going to be his most important decision of his GM era. The first coach you bring in does so much for people's faith in your decision making and he knows he needs to be careful when selecting his coach. Whoever we hire we want them to be here for the long haul, stability starts with the correct coach for the team.
I have compiled a list of candidates and have stated my own opinion on each. I have separated them into separate categories; Already interviewed / scheduled interviews, experienced head coaches, inexperienced head coaches, coaches we can not interview yet and Super Bowl Winning head coaches. I am also including a poll at the end to see who the Nation is most interested in, but I am excluding the Super Bowl coaches from the list because they would sway the poll too much. Take the Jump to read on!
****************Already Interviewed or Scheduled for Interviews******************
Mike Tice--He has been around a long, long time. The old coach of the MN Vikings has a near .500 record but I always felt he got away with bad coaching with good players. Randy Moss won a lot of games for him. I don't think I would be happy with Tice and I hope he does not get the job. He does run a very aggressive offense that the Raiders love but I would almost prefer the offense to slow down. I would be more excited to see more short passes implemented and less reliance on the deep ball, even if Carson Palmer throws a beautiful deep pass.
Marty Mornhinweg-- Marty had next to 0 success with the Lions as their head coach, however it was in the middle of the Matt Millen era. Millen's ineptitude at the GM position is second to nobody. Its hard to judge anything about Marty considering the entire lack of front office help. Reggie would be more prepared to help him, but still I never thought much of Mornhinweg. He hasn't been terrible in Philly so I don't blame the interview but I have to doubt that he will get the job.
Todd Bowles-- Very impressive individual. He is still in the running for the Dolphin head coaching job too but I think he might choose us over them if it came down to it. They tried to hire Jeff Fisher and failed, that might feel like a vote of no confidence to Bowles. He had the interim head coaching experience so he will have an offseason with tapes to evaluate his performance. That will cut down on the rookie mistakes. He is a strong minded, hard working coach who would fit us very well.
Dennis Allen-- Dennis Allen is the defensive coordinator for the Denver Broncos and did an absolutely outstanding job with his unit. Having Von Miller and Elvis Dummerville rushing the quarterback definitely made his job easier. He had extra pressure to deal with considering his defense knew they had to play extra safe and give up the least amount of points possible to keep Tim Tebow in the game. They had a very impressive defense throughout the year though and Allen deserves to get quite a bit of credit for that. Still that was only his first year as their DC and is somewhat lacking in extensive leadership roles. Also, although he would bring intimate knowledge to us about our rival, they would also have intimate knowledge on the way that he likes to coach. I am hoping not, but if he was hired at least it would be a strong defensive mind.
Mike McCoy-- Mike McCoy had to completely throw out his system to work with Tim Tebow, and was still successful. He loves to run and I would like to keep that our focal point of our offense. Part of the problem when you gauge his success this past year is how much of it was really John Fox. Either way it was impressive the way that he was able to adapt, especially making second half adjustments which was perhaps the worst part of our previous coaching regime. Same as with Allen, hiring him would give the Broncos a bit of a heads up on scouting him and knowing his tendencies. I am not saying that we should not hire McCoy or Allen because of the Broncos knowledge on them, but it certainly is a negative in my mind. (*No Longer Considered a Candidate, Article link available in comments section)
Pete Carmichael, Jr.-- Pete Carmichael Jr. seems to be the hot new name. He has been one of the architects of the high powered New Orleans offense and has a very promising career ahead of him. He is young and if he succeeds he could be around for decades with the same team. I don't know how good he is going to be, considering the lack of success by several hot prospects in the near past but its not really fair to judge him based on others anyway. I have the feeling it is going to be similar to Jason Garrettt, much heralded but not overly successful. It will be interesting to see. The New Orleans offense is so good that I would not be upset by his hiring.
****************Coaches Available With Head Coaching Experience*****************
Dom Capers-- Dom Capers, we have talked quite a bit about him already so I don't need to say much. A defensive Guru that would implement a ball hawking 3-4 system doesn't sound so horrible to me. However his critics are quick to point out his lack of success as a head coach. Personally I think he did O.K. as head coach despite a poor record. He is also very old though, and would guarantee another coaching change in the near future which is what nixes it most for me. Whoever we hire I want to be able to be here for a long time, I am sick to death of coaching changes.
Mike Nolan-- Mike Nolan did not fair very well in San Francisco, but sure looked good failing in those flashy suits on the sidelines. He, like Jack Del Rio, I would probably prefer to have as our DC but I would be fine with looking at him for the HC position. He knows football, has great bloodlines, and would focus his attention on our porous defense. Our offense with the right OC could flourish without much attention from the HC, so adding Nolan would not be awful. I believe in second chances and he has done quite well for himself as a defensive mastermind since his firing in San Francisco. His time with San Fran in the Bay Area being fairly tainted could play a role in if he decided to come here but if we offered the HC position I am sure he would not turn it down. (*Signed as DC to the Atlanta Falcons, Article link available in Comments Section)
Jim Caldwell-- Jim Caldwell was fired this year from Indy after their Peyton-less drop from the top. I would say his firing was very much a factor of the labor dispute. He had no time with Peyton to gauge his recovery and obviously thought he was going to play. It is not an excuse because he should have still been better prepared but at the same time everybody knows Manning was the Man in Indy and they did not have a regular offensive set up because of that. I like the free reign he was willing to give and I think Carson would react very well to a similar environment. He is only a couple of seasons removed from a Super Bowl appearance, albeit with the team he inherited from Tony Dungy. I would definitely support bringing in Caldwell for an interview, his guys never stopped playing for him and it was more circumstance than any other firing that happened this year.
Jack Del Rio-- Jack spent a lot of years in Jacksonville with a lot of ups and downs. I think he needs to take a DC job and have a little less on his plate for a couple of seasons. I would love to see him come in as our DC. I wouldn't be completely against him as Head Coach but he doesn't seem like a natural fit with us. He does like to run the ball though so he would have that going for him. He also looks like he could beat up lots of active players and that could be fun too.
Todd Haley-- Todd Haley was not a terrible coach for Kansas City. He is kind of crazy and was so paranoid that he believed the Chiefs front office had bugged his offices though. Maybe they did, who knows? What I do know is that he did do very well in his 2nd season in KC up until the team fell apart. I always thought he was going to do better than he ended up doing. I am not sure how I would feel if we were to hire him, but he could still turn out to be a very good head coach one day.
Eric Mangini-- Mangini has been out of coaching a couple of years but seems like he wants back in. He has never really been very successful and I hope we are not interested in him. I included him on this list simply out of respect, similar to the reasons I included Wade Phillips. He has coached multiple teams and would be available if we want him. I don't know if he has any strong connections to Reggie Mckenzie but I do know the person who fired Mangini is close with Reggie. I think if Mike Holmgren didn't want to continue to work with him that is a pretty solid sign that Mckenzie wont want to either. He can keep his cushy job at ESPN.
Wade Phillips-- Phillips is not somebody that I would be very interested in for head coach. His biggest problem has always been lacking discipline and that is not going to work with our team. He does amazing things with defenses and I would be interested to see him implement a 3-4 system, but we don't have the draft picks for him to do that right away. He seems like a push over to me, and I don't want the next head coach of our Oakland Raiders to be a push over.
Gregg Williams-- Gregg Williams might be the best DC in all of football. The Saints defense was never all that talented in my opinion but he always kept the teams guessing on what was coming. He was the head coach of the Bills at one time and was not incredibly successful but he was a lot of fun to watch. He loves to be aggressive and I think he would work well with Carson Palmer. He is fairly high up there on my list of people I would be interested in as our next head coach. Problem is, if he started to lose the team he is such a fiery guy that I don't know if he could get them back. Hopefully that wont have to matter to our new coach and he wont ever lose the team to begin with, but that type of things happen and the true champion coaches are good at righting the ship.
Steve Spagnuolo-- I don't know how much we should take from his time in St. Louis. He took over a horrible team and it did not improve all that greatly. However, as bad as they were they absolutely never gave up on Steve. I think the situation around the Rams ownership and subpar front office play had a large effect on the on the field product. I would be willing to look at him for head coach but believe he would thrive as our DC. He was amazing in New York coaching their talented defense and I would love to see what he could do with Matt Shaughnessy and Lamarr Houston. (*Signed as DC for the New Orleans Saints)
Al Saunders-- Saunders would bring something no other option could, the players already know him and work with him well. We know what he can do as an OC and I would be curious to see what he could do as a head coach. He is a bit of a dark horse for this job, but I don't think he will get it. The number one thing that our new coach needs to fix is the penalties, Saunders was part of our record breaking season this past year in that department. If the players were not listening to him about them then, I see no reason to believe they would now. He deserves a shot at being a head coach somewhere, but I doubt it will be here. If the new hire was willing to keep him on as OC I would be absolutely thrilled though. This guy has a motor that just does not quit, his conditioning makes some of the players look out of shape. He is a great coach, and it will be hard to see him leave if he is not retained.
**************Coaches Available With No Head Coaching Experience***************
Tom Clements-- Tom Clements is under looked quite often. He has been the Packers Quarterbacks coach for a long time and is always credited with being a wiz at mechanics. Carson Palmer does not need too much coaching in that aspect, but Pryor would benefit greatly from Clements tutelage. His getting a chance at being a head coach is a very far long shot, but I would be very interested in adding him to our staff in some other capacity.
Winston Moss-- Winston Moss has been said many times to be the front runner for the job. The man is a great motivator and an excellent defensive mind. We could do a lot worse than him as our head coach. When you watch him on the sidelines you can really see why the Packers think so fondly of him. When a mistake is made he is excellent at communicating with the player and fixing it in a timely fashion. He is also very disciplined and I think would be a great help for our penalty issues. I want a defensive coach to be the head coach so that helps my opinion of Moss as well. Still, I would rather not hire anybody from this section of coaches as our head coach because I do not want another rookie learning the ropes.
Joe Philbin-- The fact that Joe Philbin still coached this past Sunday, only days after his 21 year old son's funeral speaks a lot about the work ethic and character of this man. He has been a huge part of Aaron Rodgers development, so much so that when speaking of Philbin's son Rodgers was quoted as saying Joe was one of his best friends. He is a guy that players love and coaches get along with. He seems ready for a head coaching job and I believe he has really earned an opportunity somewhere. I would support this hire more than any other hire from the Green Bay Packers, and that is saying something considering the excellent crop of coaches that are likely going to be interviewed for our coaching vacancy. (*Hired as Miami Dolphins Head Coach)
******************Coaches That Can Not Be Interviewed Yet*******************
Chuck Pagano-- Defensive Coordinator for the always stout Baltimore Ravens. He is a guy that I would really love to see get a chance at a head coaching job and I would be just fine with him coming to us. He has always had the luck of having the likes of Ed Reed and Ray Lewis on the field for him but still his coaching experience since taking over for Rex Ryan has been monumental. He is a coach that has the respect of the league for his hard nosed aggressive style of play calling. One thing though is that Baltimore is where we snagged Hue Jackson from and we might not want to go to the same well for our next head coach.
Cam Cameron--Cam Cameron has been a head coach before for the Washington Redskins and was anything but successful. His offense has not been overly consistent in Baltimore and I am not overly interested in him as a head coaching candidate for us. However he is very well respected across the league and although I haven't heard any interest from us on his behalf I have to think the ever diligent Reggie Mckenzie has at the very least looked into his resume. He holds a major coaching position for a team in the AFC Championship for the 2nd straight year and deserves a look, but I honestly hope he doesn't get much more than a look. If he came in I would get on board but I am very interested in the idea of getting a defensive minded head coach and that is definitely not Cam.
Ed Donatell--Donatell was a Green Bay assistant back in 2000-2003 and has been around the league for a very long time. He is currently on the San Francisco staff as their secondary coach so he is already in the Bay Area. His history with Mckenzie has me thinking that he probably is somewhere on his list of potential candidates and the San Francisco secondary has performed very well under his tutelage. I do not think he will be given a serious chance at getting the head coach job but I think he does deserve a look as well. He is a defensive minded coach and somebody who has cut his teeth at many different levels.
Perry Fewell--Perry Fewell might be my number one choice for head coach aside from Jon Gruden. He has always piqued my interest and I thought we might have wanted to take a look at him when Cable was fired but Al was not going to give the job to a defensive coach. He replaced Steve Spagnolo for the Giants when he left for the St. Louis head coaching job. I am surprised there has not been more talk of Fewell being considered for head coaching jobs this year, and that could be only because his Giants are still in the playoffs getting ready for the NFC Championship game. He has a rock solid reputation and seems like somebody that would instill some discipline if given a head coaching job.
Kevin Gilbride--Mr. Gilbride is the offensive coordinator for the Giants and has done a very well done job with the weapons they have. He has worked closely with Eli Manning for many years and seems to have been a key piece in Manning's impressive development. He is an offensive minded coach though and that is not what I would prefer to bring in. Our offense is going to be good no matter who we bring in, I really want somebody who is going to focus on the defense. He has been working closely under Tom Coughlin though (Same as Perry Fewell) and I think that takes quite a bit of discipline to be able to do. He probably would help quite a bit with our penchant for penalties.
*****************Super Bowl Winning Coaches Unsigned**************
Jon Gruden-- The idea of adding Gruden has been discussed at length already. I will leave this short and simple, I want him and would welcome back. Others wouldn't, we don't need to rehash much about this.
Bill Cowher-- Bill Cowher would probably be the biggest steal out of all the available coaches, but is also the most unlikely out of all of the options to coach us. He is happy where he is in television and would want a lot of control. I don't know, and don't believe, that Reggie would be willing to relinquish his newly earned power that easily. If getting Gruden is next to impossible, then he must be standing next to Cowher.
Mike Martz-- Mike Martz has had some success floating around as offensive coordinator for various teams but never stays put for very long. I would be interested to see his offense in Oakland because of the speedsters we have on this team. However, he seems hard to get along with and I just never really seemed to like him. He seems arrogant and too into himself, and that is not exactly the type of persona that sounds good to our team. They already lack discipline and I do not think Martz would be able to fix that problem. Whoever our coach is needs to be able to fix the penalties or we will not ever grow as a team.
Tony Dungy-- If we could convince Dungy to come back to the sidelines that would really be something special. I have always loved and respected Tony and doubt any other coach could change the penalty prone environment as much as Dungy could. He would immediately give us a type of respect from the officials never before even imagined for the Raiders. He is an exemplary moral compass and a brilliant football mind on both sides. However his tampa2 defense is figured out now and I don't know how well it would do in Oakland. Still even with the Defensive concerns he would be well worth it.