Oakland Raiders Head Coach: Is It an Impossible Job?

Back in the 1970s and 1980s the Raiders were associated with winning. They were not always liked, but they were always feared and respected.

At the height of their powers, John Madden was head coach of the Raiders for 10 years between 1969 and 1978, posting a regular season record of 103-32-7 (0.763), the best ever in the NFL. He also coached the Raiders to Super Bowl victory following the 1976 season.

John Madden always said he had the best owner in the league. He did not have to report to a general manager—he had a hot line directly to owner Al Davis whenever and wherever he needed it.

The success was continued by the next coach, Tom Flores, who was with the Raiders for nine season, posting a record of 103-53 (0.660) and leading the Silver-and-Black to two Super Bowl victories.

This amounted to a 19 year span with a record of 206-85-7 (0.708) which rightly earned the Raiders the titles of the “Winning-est Team” and the “Team of the Decades."

It was a glorious time to be a Raider. They did things differently, the rest of the world seemed against them, but they won through. The Al Davis way worked—a blend of talented athletes, youthful exuberance and re-tread veterans trying to prove a point. Given the very best coaching and a loyal fan base, there was nothing that the Raiders could not achieve.

However, the departure of Tom Flores was to prove a watershed for the Raiders. A young Mike Shanahan replaced Flores and he was to post the first losing record (8-12) on Davis’s watch.

Art Shell replaced Shanahan in 1989 and briefly brought the Raiders back to respectability with a 54-38 (0.587) and within touching distance of the Super Bowl.

Since Art Shell was fired before the 1995 season, it has been a roller-coaster ride, with only John Gruden (38-26) posting a winning record.

Coaches Mike White, Joe Bugel, Bill Callahan, Norv Tu...

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