Oakland Raiders Head Coach Search: Latest Rumors, Speculation on Vacant Position

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistDecember 29, 2014

Getty Images

The Oakland Raiders concluded their 3-13 season and now have a new head coach. Denver Broncos defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio, who was the heavy favorite, was officially named the team's head coach on Thursday.

Continue for updates. 

Raiders Hire Del Rio

Thursday, Jan. 15

The Raiders officially announced Jack Del Rio as their new head coach on Thursday:

ESPN's Adam Schefter had previously confirmed the move on Wednesday. 

Bleacher Report's Matt Bowen broke down the move in the following video:

Del Rio Deal Not Done Yet, Expected to be Completed Soon; Sparano to Leave Team

Wednesday, Jan. 14

ESPN's Chris Mortensen reported that Del Rio is likely to be named the head coach of the Raiders soon:

However, Scott Bair of CSN Bay Area reported that negotiations between Jack Del Rio and the Raiders are ongoing:

The Raiders met with Denver Broncos defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio in an interview that stretched from Tuesday afternoon into the evening.

It was Del Rio’s second interview to be the Raiders’ head coach, but the first time general manager Reggie McKenzie regarding the team’s vacancy. Owner Mark Davis, advisor and former Raiders coach John Madden and other members of Raiders brass were also in on the meeting, which was conducted away from the team facility.

After that long session, no agreement was reached. That remained the case as of 11 p.m. on Tuesday night, according to sources, which pushed a two-week head-coaching search on to another day. It doesn't mean there won't be one in the near future. The delay makes some sense, considering Del Rio has not yet toured the team facility.

Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports reported that, in the event Del Rio is hired, interim head coach Tony Sparano won't stay in Oakland:

Garafolo later reported on a potential staff member in Oakland under Del Rio:

Matt Bowen of Bleacher Report weighed in on Del Rio as the possible head man in Oakland:

On Monday, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Del Rio is expected to interview for the second time with Oakland, which Scott Bair of CSN Bay Area noted would take place on Tuesday:

Ian Rapoport of NFL.com passed along Del Rio's interest in the job:

On Friday, Bair reported that Del Rio impressed in his first interview:

Del Rio spoke with Mark Davis last weekend and the Raiders owner was left with a positive impression. Sources indicated that Del Rio ranks among the favorites. He’s an East Bay native with family in the area and did some solid work in Jacksonville, with two playoff appearances.

Del Rio was scheduled to interview this week, as Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reported on Jan. 3. ESPN's John Clayton noted that Del Rio was the "logical pick" to become the new Raiders head coach, per Raiders BeatHis name has been linked to the job from the beginning, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reported on Dec. 29.  

Raiders Narrow Short List to Two Candidates

Sunday, Jan. 11

"The Raiders head coaching search is officially between Jack Del Rio and Tony Sparano per sources. Told final decision is close," reported Dianna Marie Russini of NBCWashington.com.

Todd Bowles Rules Out Raiders

Thursday, Jan. 8

Matt Barrows of The Sacramento Bee provides an update on potential Raiders candidate Todd Bowles:

John Madden Sitting in on Interviews, Including Sparano's

Wednesday, Jan. 7

CSN Bay Area's Fallon Smith reported that "John Madden is expected to sit in on interview with Tony Sparano later today."   

Ian Rapoport of NFL.com confirmed on Tuesday the team had scheduled the interview with Sparano.

Scott Bair of CSN Bay Area previously revealed on Tuesday that the Raiders are utilizing Madden in their current hunt for a new leader:

John Madden sat in on an interview with Mike Shanahan in recent days, two NFL sources told CSN Bay Area.

It’s uncertain how involved Madden is in this coaching search beyond that interview, but it speaks some to the legitimacy of Shanahan, among several others, as a head-coaching candidate.

Madden also sat in on an interview with then-prospective general manager Reggie McKenzie during the Raiders last hiring session in 2012. McKenzie became the GM and eventually hired Dennis Allen as head coach.

Shanahan Interviewed With Raiders

Monday, Jan. 5

Adam Schefter of ESPN passed along a report on Mike Shanahan's links to the job in Oakland:

Shanahan held the position when the Raiders were in Los Angeles, going 8-12 in less than two seasons before being fired by Al Davis. Shanahan went on to win two Super Bowls in Denver before eventually losing the job in 2008. He later resurfaced in Washington, holding the position for four seasons before being fired following the 2013 season. 

Hamilton Speaks with McKenzie

Monday, Jan. 5

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie has already spoken with Colts offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton.

Ian Rapoport of NFL.com quickly followed Schefter:

ESPN's Josina Anderson shared additional details on McKenzie's meeting with Hamilton:

A source tells me that Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie 'came away impressed' after his meeting with Colts offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton Sunday evening. Sources say that McKenzie was not personally familiar with Hamilton prior to said meeting but had heard good things, and really wanted the opportunity to get to know Hamilton better first. The Raiders see the potential for Hamilton to develop their young quarterback Derek Carr, much as the Bills (who still await their own interview with him) see the potential for Hamilton to similarly mold E.J. Manuel, the source said.

Prior to Schefter's announcement, Rapoport stated, "Hearing OC Pep Hamilton won’t interview this week with & . Was a tight time window for it & logistically it won’t work." 

Anderson first reported on Oakland's interest in Hamilton on Dec. 31:

Scott Linehan Drawing Interest

Sunday, Jan. 4

"Raiders requested permission to interview Cowboys passing game coordinator Scott Linehan, per source," reported ESPN's Adam Schefter 

Raiders Interview Shurmur

Friday, Jan. 2

Bill Williamson of ESPN provides an update on the Raiders' search for a head coach:

The Oakland Raiders continued their head coach interview process Friday by talking to former Cleveland Browns head coach Pat Shurmur, according to a league source. 

He is currently the offensive coordinator in Philadelphia. Shurmur joins Seattle offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell as candidates the Raiders have interviewed.

Oakland is expected to continue the process in the coming days. Among those with reported interviews set are San Francisco 49ers tight ends coach Eric Mangini, Raiders interim coach Tony Sparano, Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator Todd Bowles and Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton. Bowles and Hamilton will coach in playoff games this weekend.

On Dec. 30, Tim McManus of 97.5 The Fanatic revealed Shurmur was added to the list of candidates the Raiders were considering.

Mangini to Interview with Raiders

Thursday, Jan. 1

Trey Wingo reported 49ers assistant coach Eric Mangini will interview with the Raiders on Jan. 5.

On Dec. 30, Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports first reported the Raiders were planning to interview Mangini, who was fired as the Browns' head coach following the 2010 season.

Raiders Begin Search For Next Head Coach 

Monday, Dec. 29

Following a 3-13 season that saw them cycle through a pair of head coaches, the Oakland Raiders are in search of a more permanent solution this offseason.    

The Raiders fired Dennis Allen after starting 0-4 in 2014 before handing the reins over to Tony Sparano. Although he went just 3-9 on an interim basis, Sparano is a candidate to land the full-time job, according to Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk.  

Per NFL.com's Jeff Darlington, Sparano and others will be considered now that Jim Harbaugh is no longer an option:

The San Jose Mercury News' Tim Kawakami provided additional details regarding the team's interest in Harbaugh:

According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport (h/t NFL.com's Conor Orr), Raiders owner Mark Davis acknowledged that keeping Sparano in his current position is a possibility.

"Who knows? Our next coach may already be on our staff," Davis said.

If Oakland decides to go in a different direction, though, current Denver Broncos defensive coordinator and former Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio is a candidate, per Rapoport:

Rapoport believes the Raiders and Del Rio could make sense as a pairing due to Del Rio's familiarity and involvement with the area:

Regardless of which direction the Raiders decide to go in, it is quite clear that there is a lot of work to be done before they can become true playoff contenders.

Oakland has some promising talent such as linebacker Khalil Mack, quarterback Derek Carr and running back Latavius Murray, so pieces are in place to make some gains.

If the Raiders make the right decision on the head coaching front, then there is reason to believe that this organization could finally be moving in the right direction.

Follow @MikeChiari on Twitter


    Latest Buzz Around Every Team as Camp Nears

    NFL logo

    Latest Buzz Around Every Team as Camp Nears

    Kristopher Knox
    via Bleacher Report

    NFL's Most Underrated Teams Entering Camp

    Oakland Raiders logo
    Oakland Raiders

    NFL's Most Underrated Teams Entering Camp

    Mike Tanier
    via Bleacher Report

    Is It Time for the Future in Baltimore?

    NFL logo

    Is It Time for the Future in Baltimore?

    Doug Farrar
    via Bleacher Report

    Rodgers Moving on from Anthony Barr Hit

    NFL logo

    Rodgers Moving on from Anthony Barr Hit

    Mike Florio
    via ProFootballTalk