Jon Gruden went from coaching Derek Carr and the Las Vegas Raiders to a 3-0 start, to complaining about the design of SoFi Stadium following the first of a now two-game losing streak, to apologizing for leaked emails that showed him using a racist trope toward NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith, to resigning on Monday night after The New York Times revealed more emails that showed him also using homophobic slurs and misogynistic language -- all in the span of a month.
And as the Raiders try to somehow turn the page from what's become one of the most controversial situations in their long, storied history, they'll do so with special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia getting the nod from owner Mark Davis as interim head coach.
Is Bisaccia guaranteed to retain the position in 2022, though? He certainly has the experience and respect to do so, but how the team does going forward will act as his interview, and he's going to be up against some stiff competition in regards to who the Raiders will potentially have interest in. The role will be a tantalizing one for any candidate, considering the move to Las Vegas, the accompanying glitz of Allegiant Stadium and the talent on the team's roster.
Here are five top candidates who will likely get a call from Davis this coming offseason:
Eric Bieniemy, OC - Chiefs
It's past time for Bieniemy to get a shot at being head coach of an NFL team, and the Raiders would be foolish to not try and poach him away from their bitter division rivals -- a Chiefs team that has also been the class of the AFC West for years under the tutelage of Bieniemy and Andy Reid. It would be a move that would instantly level up the Raiders while simultaneously striking a major blow to the Chiefs offense, making it the biggest no-brainer of any potential candidate to succeed Gruden in 2022, and it's one that could make Las Vegas contenders almost instantly.
Kellen Moore, OC - Cowboys
Another red-hot name for potential head coach vacancies in 2022 is Moore, one of the most talented offensive minds in the NFL who appears to be on track to the next young football coaching mind to take the league by storm. The Cowboys offense launched to No. 1 in the league in Moore's first year as offensive coordinator and, barring a season-ending injury to Dak Prescott in 2020, it's never fallen out of the top-5 in yardage and/or points scored. With Prescott now back under center, the Cowboys offense is steamrolling opponents and the Raiders would love to see the same happening in Las Vegas -- although prying Moore away from Dallas (i.e., the offensive talent plus Jerry Jones' checkbook) will prove extremely difficult.
Byron Leftwich, OC - Bucs
It feels like Leftwich is being underestimated as a potential candidate for head coach, but he shouldn't be. What he's been able to help Bruce Arians establish in Tampa is special. Yes, it helps when you have the greatest quarterback of all-time taking the snaps and still operating in his prime, but even Tom Brady will tell you Leftwich has a unique football mind that will take him places in the coaching ranks. A former first-round pick at quarterback himself (seventh-overall), he also brings the added understanding of how to manage the pressure of the position in ways no one else on this list can, and that'll prove valuable -- be it for Derek Carr or whomever else is deemed the future at QB in Las Vegas.
Brian Daboll, OC - Bills
Sticking with the offensive theme here, and rightfully so, considering the Raiders truly need to turn the corner there to compete with Patrick Mahomes and an electric young Justin Herbert, Daboll has to be on their hot list for 2022. The development of Josh Allen has been magnificent under Daboll, and the Bills offense was already great in 2020, but they might've taken another step to become absolutely superb in 2021 -- evidenced by the spanking they gave the Chiefs in Week 5 in Kansas City. You can bet Daboll will be a hot commodity in a few months from now, and not completely unlike Bieniemy above, the Raiders shouldn't mind weakening a conference opponent to make themselves stronger.
Matt Eberflus, DC - Colts
At the moment, the interim coach for the Raiders is ironically one who was once a longtime member of the Dallas Cowboys coaching staff, and spent time with Eberflus in the process. A former linebackers coach of the Cowboys, Dallas offered Eberflus the position as defensive coordinator before he declined and joined the Indianapolis Colts as their DC in 2018. He opted against taking the role in Dallas because he felt it would be a slight to his mentor Rod Marinelli who, like Bisaccia, is now on the Raiders coaching staff. When you add in just how dominant the Colts defense has been under Eberflus -- the comeback win by Lamar Jackson and the Ravens in Week 5 notwithstanding -- he'd be a readymade fit for the Raiders, already having pre-existing relationships with members of the coaching staff in Las Vegas and being one of the more sought-after coaching talents in the NFL.
Rich Bisaccia, Interim - Raiders
Don't ignore Bisaccia as a possible candidate for the permanent gig in 2022. First, he has the inside track after having been special teams coordinator and assistant head coach of the Raiders since 2018. Second, in being named interim in the wake of Gruden's controversy and subsequent resignation, owner Mark Davis is showing his belief in Bisaccia to weather an F5 tornado and come out on the other side a winner. Unlike anyone else on this list, Bisaccia is literally interviewing for the position over the remaining 12 games of the regular season (and beyond, if the Raiders make the playoffs). Already having two feet in the door, all he has to do is figure out how to close and lock it behind him.