The Raiders are expected to interview former Jets head coach Todd Bowles for their head coaching vacancy in the coming weeks, league sources indicated, as owner Mark Davis tries to find the long-term replacement to departed face of the franchise Jon Gruden.
Bowles is a candidate who has come up with the Raiders in past searches, and his strong resume, and past head coaching success resonate with the owner, sources said. The Raiders defense has been an ongoing problem – both in terms of personnel and execution – and Bowles has a history of quickly improving that side of the ball, as he did as a coordinator in Tampa, helping that team win the Super Bowl a year ago. Bowles is held in very high regard by the Tampa brass, and has also been viewed by the Buccaneers organization as a potential replacement for head coach Bruce Arians, should he opt to retire at any point. Arians has battled cancer and other health issues in the past, and reassesses his health and career with his family after each season.
Bowles relates very well with players, is a trusted teacher and also played the game at a very high level himself. He has worked around some of the best coaches in football and his more reserved nature and persona would be in stark contrast to Gruden. Las Vegas has a pair of bookend pass rushers already in place, but has been lacking a quality secondary for a decade or more; Bowles is a former defensive back with particular expertise in that position group.
Bowles played safety in the NFL for eight years, winning a Super Bowl with Washington under Joe Gibbs, and has coached in the NFL since 2000. Davis is expected to cut a wide swath in terms of how many candidates he meets with, and in terms of their backgrounds.