For fans of the Las Vegas Raiders, the announcements on the team’s new general manager and head coach can’t come soon enough.
As Raider Nation eagerly awaits news on who will lead the Las Vegas Raiders franchise in the front office and on the field, the growing consensus among them is that their beloved Silver and Black must do something soon or they could lose out on great candidates and key player evaluation time.
But is that true?
Yes, the Raiders need to prepare for the draft and free agency. They also have a multitude of decisions to make on current roster players like quarterback Derek Carr, Josh Jacobs, Johnathan Abram and more. Despite the false urgency felt by fans, the Las Vegas Raiders need to be measured in their approach to finding their new leadership.
Here are three reasons why the Las Vegas Raiders need to take the time to get the general manager and head coaching hires right, even if it extends its search.
Outside of draft, most decisions can wait until later in the spring
The Raiders need to find their general manager and coach soon to develop a game plan for the 2022 NFL Draft, which will be held in Las Vegas in April. While this may seem like an urgent reason for rushing to hire a coach and general manager, it’s not. Most of the candidates made public by the Raiders are already in front offices around the NFL. They’re familiar with the current crop of college players and free agents on the market this offseason.
They will need to adjust based on the Raiders’ needs, but they are all aware of the talent pool on the market. The same can be said for coaching candidates. Most of the coaches being interviewed have staff ready to go so when they get the job, the work starts right away to get ready for roster and player evaluation. There is time and although there are expectations the Raiders will make one of the hires this week, they don’t have to hurry.
These two hires will decide the next decade for the Las Vegas Raiders
It’s evident the pressure is on Las Vegas Raiders owner Mark Davis to hire both a well-qualified talent evaluator as a GM and a sharp X’s and O’s coach to help the team execute on the field. The importance of this hire is perhaps the greatest in the history of the franchise.
When Davis made the bold move of hiring Jon Gruden and giving him control over the entire football operation, it was a huge commitment. Now, with that move having ended in disaster, Davis needs to find the right leadership to lead this franchise out of the playoff and championship black hole it’s been in since 2002. With just two seasons under its belt in its new home of Las Vegas, the franchise needs new fans, new success and to start a tradition of winning again. The urgency is there and getting the right hire vs. the quick hire is vital for Davis and the future of the brand.
The Senior Bowl and other early player evaluation periods don’t matter
The Senior Bowl is next week in Mobile, Alabama, and a great opportunity for coaches and GMs to evaluate talent first-hand ahead of the NFL Draft. Despite that feeling the Raiders must have their new front office and coach in place, those who have served in a similar situation so it’s not so.
Sportsnaut reached out to former Raiders player personnel director and former Cleveland Browns general manager Michael Lombardi and asked him.
“What matters most is the right person, not being quick,” Lombardi told me today. “The Senior Bowl is not a factor at all.”
The needs of the Raiders throughout the roster are well-known. Many of the great events that allow teams to evaluate talent are helpful but not mandatory nor the difference between success and failure. The Senior Bowl, East-West Shrine Bowl, etc., are all great for fans and NFL front offices alike. The Raiders don’t have to attend these events to be successful this offseason with a new GM and coach.
We are hearing here at Sportsnaut the Raiders may make some news this week so the waiting on one role could come to an end very soon. Either way, the Las Vegas Raiders can take their time and make the right hires to set the franchise on the right course.