Raiders report card: Last marks for Jack Del Rio and Co


Should owner Mark Davis and the Oakland Raiders call Jon Gruden this month, the former National Football League head coach sounds ready to answer in more ways than one.

As the Raiders cleaned out their lockers Monday, less than 24 hours after a 30-10 loss to the Chargers that capped a 6-10 season and preceded Del Rio's firing, players were caught between the still-fresh impact of Del Rio's departure and the possibility of Gruden's return to coaching. Gruden coached the Raiders from 1998 to 2001 before Al Davis traded him to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where he went on to win a Super Bowl. "There is no news to report", Gruden said Saturday. "I can't say I haven't taken any phone calls".

In all likelihood, Jon Gruden will leave ESPN's "Monday Night Football" booth and return to the sideline to coach the Oakland Raiders, but, because that's not a done deal yet, he'll continue to work his TV gig and that presents a potential conflict. Gruden has been mentioned in coaching rumors in his nine years since parting ways with the Buccaneers, but this is by far the closest he has come to accepting a position.

But looking back, he wishes he had returned earlier: "I think I stayed out too long", Vermeil, a member of the San Jose Sports Hall of Fame, said Tuesday.

However, he said the decision ultimately comes down to what owner Mark Davis wants.

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"You can line anybody up against me and I'm going to throw against them", Carr said. "I believe he could help him out tremendously and make him into the Hall of Fame type quarterback we think that young kid could be".

It total, Gruden was 95-81 in 11 seasons as a head coach.

The New York Daily News reported that Gruden would be "interested in Jets offensive coordinator John Morton if/when he gets the Oakland Raiders job". Being that Oakland is one of K.C.'s fiercest rivals, Chiefs coach, and Gruden's former co-worker, Andy Reid might have reservations about letting Gruden grill him in pre-production meetings.

The Raiders had major drops in scoring (26 to 18.8), yards per game (373.3 to 324.1) and committed twice as many turnovers (14 to 28) this season as Carr took a major step back in his development after signing a $125 million, five-year extension in the offseason. However, it would not be shocking to see them be the first team to hire its head coach during this coaching carousel and possibly violate The Rooney Rule in the process. After a debut season of 7-9, Del Rio followed that with a 12-4 mark and an AFC wild-card berth. We're kind of angry that we let it get to that and we're upset at ourselves.