Oakland Raiders: Jay Gruden

ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Speculation since the Oakland Raiders’ season-ending loss to the Denver Broncos on Dec. 29 had Dennis Allen on his way out of town.

And while conjecture swirled, fans pounded their respective drums for the likes of Jon Gruden to return to the Raiders, or even Hue Jackson. Two other names whispered loudly -- Stanford coach David Shaw and Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden … yes, Chucky’s little brother.

But after two years of a “deconstruction phase” (owner Mark Davis’ words), Allen is returning for Year 1 of the Raiders’ “reconstruction” (again, quoting Davis) in 2014.

Meanwhile, the elder Gruden maintains his stance that he is happy in ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” broadcast booth.

His younger brother, meanwhile, was just named Washington's head coach Thursday morning, and Jackson is replacing him as the Bengals’ offensive playcaller.

In fact, Jay Gruden is Washington’s eighth different head coach in the 14-plus years since Dan Snyder became the team owner in 1999.

That’s a lot of coaches and a lot of philosophies and a shocking lack of continuity … truly, frustration to which Raiders fans might relate.

Consider: since Jon Gruden was traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2002, the Raiders have had seven different head coaches and Oakland has a combined record of 66-129 (.339), including the playoffs.

A look, then, at the men to have coached the Raiders since Gruden left:

 
A weekly examination of the Raiders' ESPN.com Power Ranking:

Preseason: 29 | Last Week: 30 | ESPN.com Power Ranking since 2002

Dennis Green never coached the Raiders, though he was rumored to be a candidate several times over the past decade. So it makes it all the more relevant to trot out his famous line, then, and tweak it a bit: The Raiders are who we thought they were. Except, no one is letting them off the hook.

They were ranked 29th in the preseason and, for the second week in a row, sit at a season-low No. 30. Sounds about right for a team that has lost five straight games and seven of eight and faces the daunting prospect of playing host to a record-setting Peyton Manning in the regular-season finale.

Raiders owner Mark Davis is taking a wait-and-see approach before making any final decisions on the future of coach Dennis Allen, and there is no indication he’s leaning one way or the other, despite so much public clamoring for Jon Gruden.

No, Green is not considered a candidate, but how’s this for a speculative coaching candidate curveball: Jay Gruden? Then again, Davis would have to let Allen and general manager Reggie McKenzie off the hook first, let alone Terrelle Pryor’s agent, Jerome Stanley, who claimed Allen is hoping Pryor fails in the season-ending start.

Go ahead, crown ’em ... the No. 30 team in our Power Rankings.

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