The Oakland Raiders will interview former NFL head coaches Mike Tice and Marty Mornhinweg, and when combined with their interest in Dom Capers, their list of potential head coaching hires is beginning to read like a “who’s who” of failure at the NFL head coaching position.
With the news that new GM Reggie McKenzie is interested in Tice and Mornhinweg, the honeymoon period between Raiders fans and the new GM is officially over, as the familiar “doom and gloom” has settled squarely over the Raider Nation. It’s similar to the later Al Davis years, when the likely hire was often (with the exception of Jon Gruden and Lane Kiffin) a recycled has-been (Norv Turner, Art Shell) or a never-was (Mike White, Joe Bugel).
The question is, what in the world would interest McKenzie in Tice, who was recently promoted to offensive coordinator for the Chicago Bears? His most noteworthy accomplishment in his four-plus years as Minnesota Vikings head coach was getting caught scalping Super Bowl tickets, for which he received a $100,000 fine.
The Vikings teams he coached were talented, featuring Daunte Culpepper, Randy Moss and Cris Carter, yet they were thoroughly mediocre, registering a .492 winning percentage during Tice’s tenure while winning one playoff game. The Raiders need a young, sharp defensive mind in the driver’s seat. Mike Tice is anything but that guy.
Mornhinweg’s connection to McKenzie is documented, as he got his first NFL coaching job with the Green Bay Packers in 1995 as an offensive assistant as McKenzie was just getting his start with Green Bay’s scouting department at the time. His familiarity with McKenzie doesn’t make his head coaching record any less alarming and dismal, however.
He posted a 5-27 record over two years as the Detroit Lions head coach, with the the most notable moment of his tenure being the 2002 overtime debacle against the Chicago Bears in which the Lions won the toss, but Mornhinweg felt that having the wind in his favor was more important than getting the ball. He elected to kick rather than receive, and Chicago scored a field goal on the opening drive to win the game. The decision prompted fed-up Lions fans to refer to the coach as "Marty Moron-weg."
This is the best McKenzie can do?
The list is troubling, and one can only hope that McKenzie doesn’t jump the gun and hire one of these recycled coaches. The “new” Oakland Raiders need a fresh, young coach to take the franchise out of the 1970‘s and help lead it into the 21st century. Of course, just because these candidates interview doesn’t mean they’ll be hired, but you have to wonder if there’s some sort of “Rooney Rule” that applies to failed former head coaches in the NFL.