Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Holmgren would be intriguing in Oakland
By Bill Williamson
The Oakland Raiders have been looking for a new leader for the organization for months, and their conversations with Mike Holmgren indicate the team is serious about trying to get better in all facets of the organization.
John Clayton and I are reporting Raiders owner Mark Davis is considering hiring Holmgren to lead the organization as a whole. Holmgren has been to the Raiders’ facilities. At this point, he is considered a candidate for a position.
Holmgren is currently in Europe. There isn’t a timeline for the hire. NFL executive Ray Anderson and former Madison Square Garden president Scott O’Neal have been linked to a leadership role in Oakland.
Securing a new stadium is a major goal for the Raiders, and a new leader is expected to be a big part of pursuing that.
Mike Holmgren, who considered a return to coaching this offseason, is a candidate for a leadership role with the Raiders.
If Holmgren joins the team, he’d certainly have a role on the football side because that is his background. Holmgren, a former head coach in Green Bay and Seattle, was the team president in Cleveland from 2010 to '12. He left the Browns late last year after an ownership change.
The Browns weren’t a winner under Holmgren’s watch, but he did help get the team's finances together and the team drafted well the past two years under his leadership.
Holmgren, 64, is from San Francisco and wants to be on the West Coast. He said he was open to coaching this year, but he didn’t get any looks from the eight teams looking for a coach. If Holmgren heads to Oakland, the entire team would be under his umbrella. It would create an interesting dynamic on the football side.
The team hired Reggie McKenzie (who was in Green Bay with Holmgren) last year to be the general manager. He is in charge of the football operations. I’m sure Holmgren and McKenzie would work well together, but there’s no doubt there would be another football mind in the building. That is undeniable. So a power structure would have to be established. I don’t see Holmgren joining a team with which he wouldn't have a powerful role.
Also, the addition of Holmgren could hover over coach Dennis Allen. Holmgren is on the record as saying he’d coach again. What if Oakland, which went 4-12 last season, starts slowly again? Would Holmgren consider naming himself coach? That looming possibility could be uncomfortable for Allen.
There are a lot of reasons to like this potential partnership. Holmgren has a great NFL track record and has won before. But there would be plenty of new questions if he joins the team as well.