As you’ve no doubt heard by now, offensive line coach Tony Sparano has been made the Raiders’ interim head coach for the rest of the season, after Dennis Allen’s dismissal yesterday. Offensive coordinator Greg Olson and offensive consultant Al Saunders had also been mentioned as possible candidates for the interim job, but Sparano has the most recent head coaching experience. No word yet on who will replace Sparao as position coach for the o-line.
It has to be said that Allen was not only just part of the problem, but not even the largest part of the problem. Reggie McKenzie has to know that if the team doesn’t somehow become more competitive over the next 12 games, he is gone at the end of the season as well. Probably the only reason he wasn’t fired along with Allen is that it’s just too much housecleaning at one time with the season already well under way.
This also buys Mark Davis several months to recruit and interview potential general managers and head coaches for the next rebuilding project. A lot of people are blaming Davis for interviewing only McKenzie, but remember that McKenzie also had the endorsement of John Madden and Ron Wolf, two men who have loomed large throughout Davis’ life, and played critical roles in the Raiders’ most successful years. Davis has acknowledged that he does not possess anywhere near the football knowledge his father did, so it makes sense that he would trust the judgment of Madden and Wolf.
What it really comes down to is whether Mark Davis, unlike his father, is willing to spend what it takes to get elite coaching and managing talent in his front office, or if he continues to pretend that you don’t get exactly what you pay for, and gets that his team simply has too many issues and holes to fill to be resolved by bargain-hunting coaches. Even experienced, top-shelf managers and coaches are going to have their hands full rebuilding this roster. Again. Aside from possibly the linebackers, if they can get and remain healthy, there is not a single area of this team that won’t need either a serious rebuild next season (running backs, defensive secondary, defensive line) or a lot of attention and work (wide receivers, offensive line).