The Raiders search for a head coach may have accelerated Sunday with the surprise availability of Denver Broncos defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio.
When the Indianapolis Colts upset the Broncos 24-13, it meant the Raiders could re-visit the possibility of making the former Hayward High star their 21st head coach.
Del Rio interviewed during the Broncos’ playoff bye week with Raiders owner Mark Davis. There are seven known interviews for the Raiders head coaching job, and the three key figures asking the questions have been owner Mark Davis, general manager Reggie McKenzie and Hall of Fame coach John Madden as an advisory capacity.
Only one candidate _ interim coach Tony Sparano _ has talked with Davis, McKenzie and Madden.
Davis told this newspaper Friday a coach could be named very soon or perhaps as long as three weeks because some candidates would be involved in the playoffs and unavailable until their team was eliminated.
After the first round of playoff games, coaches interviewed by the Raiders who are unavailable to be hired are Seattle offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and Indianapolis offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton. Both teams will be involved in conference championship games.
If Davis is intent on having candidates talk with himself, McKenzie and Madden, there is still some work to do unless the selection is Sparano.
Del Rio has interviewed with Davis but not McKenzie and Madden. Del Rio presided over one of the NFL’s top defenses in 2014, although the Broncos had trouble getting pressure on Andrew Luck in Sunday’s playoff defeat.
Fox Sports reported Sunday morning that in the event of a Denver loss, head coach John Fox, as well as assistant coaches, could have concerns about job security.
Bevell has talked only to McKenzie, as has Philadelphia offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur, unless he has met quietly with Madden and/or Davis recently.
Hamilton was interviewed by McKenzie, and didn’t talk with Davis or Madden.
Former Raiders, Broncos and Washington coach Mike Shanahan interviewed with Davis and Madden, but hasn’t talked with McKenzie.
Forty-Niners tight ends coach Eric Mangini has interviewed, but it is not clear whether he met with all three men.
Another possibility is Dallas passing game coordinator and play-caller Scott Linehan, whose team was eliminated by Green Bay Sunday. The Raiders were reportedly interested in Linehan, but there was no reported interview with him.