Oakland Raiders fire head coach Jack Del Rio

Desiree Steele
January 3, 2018

For Del Rio, the end comes at the conclusion of a season of unfulfilled expectations.

The move clears a path for a pursuit of Jon Gruden, a former Raiders coach who had been linked primarily to his other former team, the Buccaneers.

The Raiders fired coach Jack Del Rio on Sunday following the team's noncompetitive 30-10 road loss to the Los Angeles Chargers, the coach confirmed in his postgame news conference.

If ESPN's Adam Schefter is right, you bet your Spider 2 Y Bananas.

Del Rio finished his three-year tenure in Oakland with a 25-23 record and one playoff appearance. This year, he talked openly about a return to the sidelines and there was speculation - primarily wishful thinking from University of Tennessee fans - that he would leave ESPN to coach the Volunteers. "The only question is when it happens".

In a phone conversation with Jerry McDonald of the Bay Area News Group, Gruden admitted that he is being considered as a candidate for the Raiders job.

If the Raiders do offer Gruden an ownership stake, there is a huge catch - it must be approved by other National Football League owners and there is a good reason to think they would be reluctant to do so.

An ownership source said owners might not be so quick to approve the deal, because they wouldn't want to establish a precedent.

After Raiders owner Mark Davis unceremoniously pulled the plug on the Del Rio era on Sunday afternoon, team ownership was reportedly "confident" that Gruden would assume the Oakland post once again, per Rapoport. According to Bair, Davis "played coy" when asked about Gruden.

However, when asked about this on Tuesday, Gruden - still an analyst for ESPN - had a very amusing response. Del Rio fired offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave earlier in the offseason, which would explain why quarterback Derek Carr looks like he's taken a step back as far as progression goes.

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