Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
It's Black Monday in the NFL. The day every coach and front office person dreads. The day they await their fate. The Raiders gave four coaches their walking papers including Greg Knapp. But among the firings across the league, several new OC candidates have emerged.
The most logical choice for filling the Raiders now vacant offensive coordinator position would be one of the head coaches who was fired with an offensive background. Here are those firings.
Chan Gailey - He first became an offensive coordinator in the NFL in 1989 when he took over the job for the Broncos. His first season as an offensive coordinator, the Broncos went to the Super Bowl. In his first season as OC in Pittsburgh, the Steelers went to the AFC Championship game and went to the playoffs in this second season. He was hired as the head coach of the Cowboys the following season and brought them back to being a playoff team after a 6-10 season the prior year. The offense was also one of the best in the NFL in his two seasons in Dallas and it was among the worst in the NFL the season prior and the several seasons after he was fired. That record had him moving on to the Dolphins who were 11-5 in both his seasons there with Jay Fiedler at quarterback. The Dolphins fell off after Gailey left and didn't make the playoffs again for several years. His record as head coach of the Bills the past three seasons has been a combined 16-32.
Pat Shurmur - He is the one candidate with somewhat of a connection with general manager, Reggie McKenzie. His dad ,Fritz Shurmer, was defensive coordinator in Green Bay from 1994-98 which was Reggie McKenzie's first years with the Packers. Shurmer has Bay Area ties as well. He was the offensive line coach at Stanford in 1998 before heading to the NFL to become the Eagles tight ends coach from 1999-01 and QB coach from 2002-08. He then moved on to become the Rams offensive coordinator from 2009-10 before the Browns came calling to make him their next head coach. His record as offensive coordinator in St Louis was not great. The team did improve from 1-15 his first season to 7-9 his second season but the offense was still ranked among the worst in the NFL both of his seasons there.
Norv Turner - The idea of Turner returning to Oakland doesn't appeal to many Raiders fans who remember how bad the team was when he was the head coach in 2004-05. But while his head coaching record is not great, his record as an offensive coordinator is well-respected. He has been an offensive coordinator in the NFL for nine years and a head coach for 13 years. He was the offensive architect that helped the Cowboys become one of the best offenses in the NFL in his three seasons there from 1991-93. In 2001 when he took over as Chargers OC, their offense improved from the bottom of the league to one of the top offenses and returning as head coach in 2007, the Chargers had a top five offense every season up until this last season. He will be a hot commodity as an offensive coordinator, make no mistake.
Ken Whisenhunt - He led the Steelers to having one of the top offenses in the NFL in his three seasons as their offensive coordinator from 2004-06. He helped Ben Roethlisberger lead the Steelers to the AFC Championship game as a rookie and to a Super Bowl win the following season. The Cardinals hired him in 2007 and things went well until he was saddled with arguably the worst quarterback situation for the past few seasons. He is still very well respected and could even get interest as a head coach.