Mark Davis admits he got Gruden before firing Del Rio, raising Rooney Rule questions

When the Oakland Raiders held their massive press conference/celebration announcing Jon Gruden as the team's newest head coach, it was clear that the hire was something that the team had been hoping to make happen for quite a long time. Raiders owner Mark Davis even admitted as much when he stated that the first time he reached out to Gruden about the job was all the way back in 2012. 

Davis and the Raiders hired two different full-time coaches between that call and Gruden finally accepting the job: Dennis Allen and Jack Del Rio. Apparently, they were never Davis' first choice. And this time around, nobody else was ever really in the running. 

Davis told a group of reporters after the press conference that he essentially got Gruden to agree to coach the team as early as Christmas Eve, after having reached out in October/November. He also stated that he likely would have fired the coordinators and kept Del Rio had Gruden not agreed to the job. 

Of course, getting a candidate to agree before you fire the current coach means anyone else that interviewed for the gig never actually had a chance at it. So when the Raiders said that they complied with the Rooney Rule by interviewing Tee Martin and Bobby Johnson, they were really just covering their posteriors. Those guys never had the opportunity, because the job was always going to Gruden or it wasn't going to be open at all. 

CBS Sports Writer

Jared Dubin is a New York lawyer and writer. He joined CBSSports.com in 2014 and has since spent far too much of his time watching film and working in spreadsheets. Full Bio

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