October 12, 2021

Ranking the Raiders' 3 Best Coaching Candidates to Replace Jon Gruden in 2022

Jon Gruden is out as the Las Vegas Raiders coach after racist, homophobic and misogynistic e-mails were unearthed by the New York Times ironically right before "Monday Night Football" came on the air. 

Following the latest leaks, Gruden resigned and assistant head coach/special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia will take over on an interim basis. 

That means it'll most likely be a brand-new regime taking over in Las Vegas next season. 

Who should the Raiders hire to replace the man who once had a 10-year, $100 million contract? Las Vegas will have plenty of candidates. Here are their three best options. 

3. Joe Brady, Offensive Coordinator, Carolina Panthers

Joe Brady became a hot name on the coaching carousel following his masterful work as LSU's passing game coordinator and wide receivers coach In 2019, he helped lead the greatest offense in college football history to a national championship.

Brady learned under Saints' coach Sean Payton as an offensive assistant before taking the job at LSU. In his short stint in Baton Rouge, he won the Broyles Award, which recognizes the top assistant coach in college football.

Brady then made the lead to the NFL as the Carolina Panthers' offensive coordinator. He's helped develop Sam Darnold into a somewhat competent quarterback, which is a big upgrade from his Jets days. 

At just 32, Brady has been labeled as the next great offensive coach, and the Raiders love going after big names with potential. They did the same thing with Lane Kiffin in 2017. And while that didn't end well, it shouldn't stop Las Vegas from getting a smart, young coach who can grow with the franchise. 

2. Eric Bieniemy, Offensive Coordinator, Kansas City Chiefs

Ever since the Chiefs became one of the most feared offenses in NFL history, Eric Bieniemy has been at the top of a lot of coaching searches. It's odd he hasn't been hired away from the Chiefs, but that gives the Raiders the perfect opportunity to not only get an offensive-minded coach but also hurt a division rival. 

The Chiefs have been the class of the AFC West for years and it is all thanks to the offense. It's hard to tell how much Bienemy actually contributes to the offense since Andy Reid is the premier offensive coach of our generation, but plenty of his other disciples have been quick to get a head-coaching job. 

It's just a matter of time until Bieniemy is a head coach. There are already rumors that he could be a candidate for the open USC job, but the Chiefs' offensive coordinator would surely choose to coach the Raiders over the Trojans. 

But with Andy Reid not getting any younger and having a health issue already this season, Bieniemy could be his replacement if he decides to stick with the franchise. If not, he'll be one of the hottest names on the coaching carousel this offseason.  

1. Kellen Moore, Offensive Coordinator, Dallas Cowboys

This season has made it pretty clear that Kellen Moore will be a head coach in the very near future, including potentially next season. 

The former Boise State quarterback has revolutionized the Cowboys' offense and has turned them into one of the top offenses in the NFL. The Cowboys' offense ranks second in points per game (34) and yards per game (439.6). They also rank third in yards per play (6.5) and they are ranked first in points scored per play (.503). Whether it be on the ground with the two-headed monster of Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard or through the air with Dak Prescott, the Cowboys are one of the most electrifying teams in the NFL under Moore. 

While the Raiders do not have the talent that Dallas has, they have the pieces for Moore to do something special with. Inheriting a very solid quarterback like Derek Carr with a supporting cast that includes Josh Jacobs, Henry Ruggs, Darren Waller, and Hunter Renfrow can only mean good things. If Moore has been able to turn Prescott into a superstar quarterback, he can do the same to Carr or any other quarterback that the Raiders bring in.

It will be extremely fascinating to see what the Cowboys do this offseason if Moore becomes a hot name on the market. Would Jerry Jones really allow his offensive prodigy to leave while keeping Mike McCarthy? 

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