Mark Davis just wants to win baby, yet the Las Vegas Raiders find themselves at a crossroads following the firing of head coach Josh McDaniels. The hire was already suspect to begin with given the lack of success McDaniels has had when not wearing Patriot colors. He got rid of a quarterback who helped the team to the playoffs and brought in Jimmy G. All he did was turn the ball over. Oh, and he couldn't find a way to get Devante Adams the ball. Raiders Nation was tired, so the move has made a lot of fans happy. So what's next?
While the allure of a high-profile coach may be tempting, the Raiders need to take a step back and reassess their strategy. In the interim, Antonio Pierce has been given the opportunity to lead the team. If he pulls a rabbit out of his hat and leads the team to playoff contention — he deserves the job. If not, well, it's crucial that the Raiders use this time to focus on finding a steady, experienced head coach who can connect with and understand the players.
While the name Coach Prime, aka Deion Sanders, may be thrown around as a potential candidate, the Raiders should proceed with caution. Sanders is still relatively new to the collegiate coaching scene, having recently made the move from Jackson State to Colorado. Let's not get it twisted, Coach Prime has shown promise in his ability to assemble a strong coaching staff. On top of that, he has put his players in position for success. However, he has yet to prove that he can consistently win against top-tier programs. Furthermore, the NFL is a completely different beast than college football, and it remains to be seen whether Sanders has what it takes to succeed at the professional level.
That being said, Sanders certainly has the winning mentality and ego required to thrive in the NFL. He knows how to surround himself with the right people and put his players in the best position to win. While the Raiders may be a tempting option for Sanders, it's unclear whether the timing is right for him to make the leap to the NFL. Lincoln Riley's name will come up, understandably so. If the Raiders tank their way into the No. 1 overall pick and nab Caleb Williams, pairing him with Riley makes sense.
Rich Bisaccia's name should be on the shortlist as well. After all, he was the one who led the team to the playoffs a few seasons ago. At the end of the day, the Raiders should take their time in finding the right fit for their next head coach. There's no need to rush into a decision for a big name, though there is one that makes sense.
5. Marvin Lewis
No, the name isn't necessarily sexy, but he’s the type of coach the Raiders need at the moment. He’s not a guy who’ll dominate the headlines. What he’ll do is work to get the team to a winning franchise, something he’s done before. Who can forget the laughing stock that was the Cincinnati Bengals before Marvin Lewis turned the franchise around? They were often considered one of the worst teams in history. There was a time when the question was posed; "Will the 2000 Hurricanes beat the Cincinnati Bengals?" which was more of an indictment on the Bengals than praise for the Hurricanes.
When Lewis became the head coach of the Cincinnati Bengals in 2003, the franchise was in a slump, having just finished the season with a dismal 2-14 record. Lewis was instrumental in turning the franchise around by instilling a culture of discipline, accountability, and a strong work ethic. He also prioritized building a solid defense, which became one of the team's hallmarks during his tenure. Under Lewis's guidance, the Bengals reached the playoffs seven times and clinched four AFC North division titles.
The team's winning percentage improved significantly, with Lewis amassing a 131-122-3 record over 16 seasons. His influence transformed the Bengals from perennial losers to consistent playoff contenders. For the Raiders, he can do it under a 5-year deal before turning over the franchise to the next guy.