Don’t bet against Mark Davis landing Gruden as Raiders next coach

Updated December 31, 2017 - 10:51 pm

CARSON, Calif. — When it was all just a rumor, a stack of speculation taller than the Stratosphere Tower, this idea that the NFL would actually relocate to Southern Nevada, those descriptions of Raiders owner Mark Davis to the Las Vegas community hardly radiated with praise.

He was, accounts reported, the poorest of NFL owners, certainly not one with any formative level of juice when it came to swaying others in a room, just a guy who traveled hundreds of miles to get one of the world’s worst haircuts and who many insisted some of his more powerful peers wanted out of their exclusive club.

A year later, here’s my feeling on Davis: We should all be so inadequate.

The wheels continue turning as to what sort of team he intends on bringing to Las Vegas in 2020, his latest move to fire head coach Jack Del Rio following Sunday’s regular-season finale loss to the Chargers at StubHub Center with reportedly every intention of replacing him with Jon Gruden.

It would take the 54-year old Gruden out of the television booth and back to the franchise he led to an AFC Championship game in 2000, the team he went 38-26 with over four seasons, before then beating the Raiders in Super Bowl XXXVII as head coach of Tampa Bay.

It’s true Del Rio led the Raiders to their first playoff appearance in 14 years last season, was granted by Davis a four-year extension in February and as a former NFL player owned a strong sense of respect from most within the locker room.

He’s not a bad head coach by any means.

“(Davis) told me he loved me and appreciated all I did to get this program going in the right direction, but that he felt the need to change,” said Del Rio, dismissed after three seasons and a 25-23 record. “I told him how much I appreciated the opportunity he gave me. Very grateful. My childhood team.

“But it’s a results business. I understand that. I do believe we have established a solid nucleus. Whoever comes in has a chance to take that nucleus and go to special places. I’ll be pulling for them.”

This is also true: If you can convince Gruden to put down his “Monday Night Football” microphone and again start tutoring a specific roster of NFL quarterbacks instead of several college prospects at the position for an annual made-for-television draft preview, you make this move with zero hesitation.

You make it every day and twice on Sunday.

Gruden could be a lock

While reports continue to suggest Gruden will indeed soon be introduced as the Raiders coach — claims that only intensified when Davis fired Del Rio just minutes after the team’s 30-10 defeat that concluded a 6-10 season — this is hardly a new storyline when it comes to the guy who last coached in 2008.

There hasn’t been an offseason since Gruden embraced his role as an analyst where his name wasn’t mentioned for college and NFL openings. It somehow always creeps into headlines, and I don’t believe for a second he doesn’t enjoy such flattery.

But this time, the Raiders might actually turn conjecture about Gruden’s future into fact.

It might be Davis and it might be team president Marc Badain and it might be a host of others who aren’t as publicly celebrated and it might be all of that and more, but this we know: The team bargained its way into landing a $1.9 billion NFL stadium in Las Vegas, of which $750 million will come from tax-exempt bonds; it has also reportedly convinced the city of Henderson to sell a 55-acre parcel of land for a practice facility at half its $12 million value.

Translation: It’s probably not the best time to bet against Davis landing Gruden with an offer that could include an ownership stake in the team, the idea of inheriting a young quarterback in Derek Carr of whom Gruden has often spoke highly and the opportunity to eventually lead the Raiders into that fancy new Las Vegas stadium.

“I know (Gruden),” Carr said. “I’ve known him for a while. But the (Del Rio firing) is still pretty fresh.”

It won’t seem that way over the next several days, when you can bet the Gruden-to-Raiders banter will only get louder.

You figure if Mark Davis is as inadequate as everyone insisted a year ago, the deal might already be done and Chucky is returning to a silver and black sideline many believe he never really wanted to leave.

Contact columnist Ed Graney at or 702-383-4618. He can be heard on “The Press Box,” ESPN Radio 100.9 FM and 1100 AM, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday. Follow @edgraney on Twitter.

Raiders Videos
Vegas Nation Stadium Show: Retractable Field Update - VIDEO
Much like the Arizona Cardinals field, the Raiders will also be playing on a field tray that can be retracted in order to maintain real grass. Vegas Nation host Cassie Soto and Las Vegas Review- Journal reporter Rick Velotta discuss the latest updates regrading the Las Vegas Stadium as well as the groundbreaking of the Raiders headquarters in Henderson.
Raiders Henderson Practice Facility Render - VIDEO
Video of the Raiders practice facility that will be built in Henderson Nevada.
Raiders Headquarters Groundbreaking Ceremony - VIDEO
The Raiders make Henderson their new home with a groundbreaking ceremony. Derek Carr and many other players past a present came together to celebrate the new location. Cassie Soto and Ed Graney report from Henderson, Nevada.
Former Raider James Harris says fans will follow the team "to the moon" - VIDEO
The Oakland Raiders will play in Las Vegas when their team's move is completed in 2020. Former Raiders' defensive end and Las Vegan, James Harris, says fans will follow and support the team "to the moon".
Jim Plunkett on the Raiders' move to Las Vegas, changes under Gruden
At the groundbreaking ceremony for the Raiders new headquarters in Henderson, Nevada, former quarterback Jim Plunkett gave his thoughts on the new facility, the team's move to Las Vegas and what the future holds for the team with head coach Jon Gruden.
JT The Brick says where he thinks the Raiders should play in 2019
At the Raiders headquarters groundbreaking ceremony in Henderson, Nevada, radio host J.T. The Brick gave his take on where he thinks the team should play in 2019 and provided his thoughts on their three, first-round draft picks and more.
Raiders Hold Groundbreaking Ceremony For Henderson Practice Facility
The Raiders hold a groundbreaking ceremony in Henderson for the new practice facility for the teams move to Las Vegas.
A quick look at the Raiders HQ in Henderson
The Raiders held a groundbreaking ceremony for their Las Vegas headquarters, which is based in Henderson, on Monday, Jan. 14th.
Designers of Raiders Field Learn Lessons from Cardinals
The retractable grass in the future home of the Raiders will look largely like an updated and improved version of the field tray system used at State Farm Stadium, home of the Phoenix Cardinals. (Benjamin Hager/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Vegas Nation: Mahomes Throws his 50th TD in Victory over the Raiders
The Oakland Raiders lose the last game of the season to the Kansas City Chiefs 35-3. Pat Mahomes throws his 50th touchdown and the Chiefs take first place in the division. Cassie Soto is in studio and Michael Gehlken and Ed Graney report from Kansas City.
Raiders look ahead to next season after loss to Chiefs
After the Oakland Raiders' 35-3 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, players analyze their play and look ahead to what they can do better in the next season.
Vegas Nation: Raiders hire Mike Mayock as new GM
Raiders beat reporter describes newly-hired general manager's opening press conference.
Vegas Nation: Players receive signing bonuses
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken explains why four players received roster bonuses and what that means for their respective futures on the roster.
Vegas Nation Mailbag: Will the Raiders play in Oakland next season?
The Raiders get an emotional win against the Denver Broncos. The game was potentially the Raiders last time playing in the colosseum due to a lawsuit from the city of Oakland. Elaine Wilson and Ed Graney go over the Raider Nation reaction to the game an news.
Vegas Nation: Miller and Parker draw praise
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken takes a look at Kolton Miller and Brandon Parker's Monday Night Football performance against the Denver Broncos.
Vegas Nation: Raiders to face Chiefs in season finale
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken describes how the team is doing after their emotional win over the Denver Broncos, and how they're preparing for the last game of the year in Kansas City.
Raiders Win Emotional Game Against Broncos - Vegas Nation
The Oakland Raiders win their Monday Night football game against the Denver Broncos. This game is potentially the last time the Raiders will play in Oakland before coming to Las Vegas. Vegas Nation host Cassie Soto, Raiders beat writer Michael Gehlken and Ed Graney go over the emotional win.
Carr, Gruden reflect on what could be the last game played in Oakland
Raiders head coach Jon Gruden and quarterback Derek Carr comment on what could be the the last home game the team played at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.
Raiders locker room after victory over Broncos
Raiders players Jalen Richard, Lee Smith, Karl Joseph, and Erik Harris react to defeating the Denver Broncos in what could be the final game at the Oakland Coliseum.
Raiders fans react to possible final game in Oakland
Raiders fans from around the country respond to the team potentially playing their final game at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum prior to Monday night's game against the Denver Broncos.
Vegas Nation: Raiders hold final practice before MNF
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken describes the trouble Von Miller and Bradley Chubb bring to the Raiders offensive line, as well as who's questionable for Monday night's game against the Denver Broncos.
Vegas Nation: McCarron returns to practice
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken reports that back up quarterback AJ McCarron returned to practice on Friday following the birth of his son.
Vegas Nation: Nathan Peterman practices with Raiders
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken unveils the reaction Jon Gruden received after signing quarterback Nathan Peterman to the practice squad.
Vegas Nation Mailbag - December 19, 2018
Elaine Emerson and Ed Graney go over all burning Vegas Nation Raiders questions
Vegas Nation: Raiders prepare for potential final game in Oakland
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken reports on how Christmas Eve could be the final game in Oakland for the Raiders, and how Jon Gruden will handle it with himself and the players.
RJ columnist Ed Graney goes in-depth to find out if an NFL team would have success in London
While London's Cray Wanderers may be the one of the oldest football clubs in the world, could an NFL team have the same success overseas? (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal @HeidiFang)
Raiders Fall To Bengals 30-16 - Vegas Nation
Raiders fall to the Cincinnati Bengals 30-16. Vegas Nation host Cassie Soto and Raiders beat writer Michael Gehlken recap the loss.
Raiders players on the team's loss to the Bengals
Raiders running back Doug Martin and tight end Darren Waller discuss their performances against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Gruden and Carr share positive outlook on remaining games
After suffering a 30-16 loss to the Bengals in Cincinnati, Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden and quarterback Derek Carr think the team can still finish the season strong.
NFL Draft Coming to Las Vegas in 2020 - Vegas Nation
The NFL Draft has been awarded to Las Vegas in 2020 as the Raiders move in. Michael Gehlken discusses what this means for the the city and the Raiders.
Vegas Nation: Osemele, Jackson miss practice on Thursday
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken explains the injuries to offensive linemen Kelechi Osemele and Gabe Jackson, and who the Raiders have signed to the offensive line in response to those injuries.
Raiders vs Bengals Preview - Vegas Nation Mailbag
The Oakland Raiders will face off against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday. Vegas Nation Mailbag host Elaine Emerson and sports columnist Ed Graney answer all of Raider Nation's burning questions about the upcoming game.
Las Vegas Raiders Stadium
Las Vegas Raiders Stadium (Raiders)
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like