The Las Vegas Raiders will hit the practice field on Wednesday for the first time without Jon Gruden as the head coach.
It is the first step toward bringing some normalcy to the franchise in this unprecedented and turbulent time. Here is a look at the most important figures for the Raiders as they try to survive Gruden’s sudden departure for the rest of the season.
The Raiders’ owner is at the top of this list. He has to publicly take control of his team. Earlier this year, several of his top business people left in a shroud of mystery and now the man he trusted with his franchise and gave a 10-year, $100 million contract to has left the franchise in disgrace. This is a time of crisis for Davis. It should be a time of jubilation for the franchise as it enjoys the Las Vegas move and the fact that Allegiant Stadium finally has fans in it, but instead there is major upheaval again for the Raiders.
Davis has to lead his team out of this mess. It’s on him. He must do it by making sure this once-promising season doesn’t fall part completely and he needs to lead the franchise in finding the right head coach in January. He must provide stability or his franchise during this crisis.
He has gone from being Gruden’s assistant to having final say for the rest of the season. The roster is now all Mayock’s for the remainder of 2021. That is a major power shift, but there are no guarantees that Davis will keep Mayock after the season. He may want a new front office as well as a new head coach. Mayock was a Gruden hire ... it’s probably best to completely start over. But for now, he has a chance to show Davis he deserves to stay.
The Carr-Gruden dynamic has been a major storyline since the coach came back to the team in 2018. And now suddenly it is over. Carr progressed under Gruden, Carr praised Gruden all the time, but he always praises everyone. Now, Carr is out of Gruden’s shadow.
For the rest of the year, offensive coordinator Greg Olson is in charge of the offense and will take over for Gruden on play calling. Olson and Carr are comfortable together, but can they be dynamic and help this 3-2 team get to the postseason? For now, that’s all Carr needs to worry about. Come January, he will need to find out if a new coach wants him. Regardless, Carr will be playing in yet another system in 2022.
Bradley was another Gruden hire. But he’s been a good one. The defense is notably better under his leadership. If the Las Vegas defense ends the season strong, ownership may push the next coach to try to keep Bradley. Of course, he may have offers elsewhere. Thus, Bradley’s future in Las Vegas is suddenly up in the air along with everything else with Gruden’s untimely departure from the franchise.
Yes, I believe Bisaccia is the least vital of the five people on this list. He is simply a caretaker as the CEO of the coaching staff for the rest of the year. Yes, he can be a candidate to be the head coach if the team goes on a big run to end the season. But there are more important people to consider in the future.