Raiders Wisely Deny Jon Gruden Coaching Rumors
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First, the rumor. According to Hub Arkush of Pro Football Weekly (via Dan Bernstein of CBSChicago.com):
Second, the denial. Per Paul Gutierrez of CSN California:
For as many coaching changes Oakland has seen since Gruden, it's not surprising to see this happen.
Nevertheless, a constant carousel of coaching also makes it tough for the team to build consistency, let alone maintain it. The Raiders haven't seen much success since the days of Gruden—no Oakland coach has lasted even three full seasons (Tom Cable, 44 games between 2008 and 2010).
How confident are you in Dennis Allen's ability to get Oakland back on a winning track? (1=Not At All, 5=Very)
Therefore, despite Dennis Allen's rough 3-9 start, another coaching change would only set Oakland back once again.
Yes, Gruden had success with the Raiders and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. However, he has been out of coaching since 2008, and nothing is ever guaranteed.
Obviously, though, Gruden's overall resume speaks volumes, and he's arguably the most popular former coach not on the sidelines right now. That said, why bother going through the process of hiring someone such as Allen after the 2011 season?
Well, per Bill Williamson of ESPN.com:
Gruden is an analyst for ESPN’s “Monday Night Football.” He made this recent statement about him and several rumored jobs: "I don't have time to get into all that stuff. I like what I'm doing and I'm just trying to hang on to the job I have. Let's leave it at that."
In other words, if any team were to approach Gruden, it would happen during the offseason.
Plus, the Raiders' hiring of Allen was not as bad as the 3-9 record makes it appear.
By no means has he gotten Oakland to live up to expectations, but the 2012 schedule didn't help either. Of the nine losses, three were by eight points or fewer, and seven were against teams legitimately contending for the postseason or those which have already clinched.
Offensively, Oakland ranks No. 8 in passing, and that's without a consistent running game because of durability issues. So, that aspect is quite impressive, considering that the Raiders are basically one dimensional.
Provided the defense improves at pass-rushing and forcing turnovers, Oakland will win under Allen. It's simply a matter of patience, because he does have great NFL experience, not to mention a Super Bowl ring with the New Orleans Saints in 2009 as the secondary coach.
Gruden undoubtedly is the more proven head coach, but even he lasted through two .500 seasons before getting Oakland to the postseason.
The Raiders have shown flashes with Allen, although they've been far and few between, so quickly fending off the rumors simply gives the Raiders the opportunity to build consistency.
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