Sep 9, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive coordinator Todd Bowles looks on before a game against the Dallas Cowboysn at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
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The Las Vegas Raiders are interested in hiring Todd Bowles to become the permanent replacement for head coach Jon Gruden.
The NFL’s new rule that will allow teams to interview coaching candidates in the final weeks of the regular season was designed to allow assistants on successful teams more of a shot to get head coaching opportunities. One of the first beneficiaries of the new rule could be Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, who CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora is reporting is expected to interview with the Las Vegas Raiders in the coming weeks.
Bowles, 58, has previously served as a head coach with the New York Jets from 2015-2018. The Jets narrowly missed the playoffs in Bowles’ first season, going 10-6 and being eliminated from postseason contention in Week 17, but three consecutive sub-.500 seasons ended his head coaching tenure in New York.
Todd Bowles makes sense as a candidate for the Raiders
La Canfora notes in his report that Bowles has come up frequently in the Raiders’ coaching searches due to his strong defensive background. Las Vegas has had defensive issues for years and Bowles is a master on that side of the ball as evidenced by his role as Bruce Arians’ defensive coordinator in Tampa Bay for the past three years.
It also isn’t fair to hold the Jets’ failures exclusively on Bowles since that organization has been an absolute train wreck for a decade. Bowles did help deliver the organization’s only winning season since 2010 and is well-regarded for his ability to relate to players thanks to his experience as a long-time NFL player and coach.
Bringing in Bowles would also promote some stability for the Raiders, who have been living through a circus all year that began with Gruden’s resignation and dealt with tragedy as a result of Henry Ruggs’ drunk driving accident that saw a woman get killed. Bowles would be an adult in a room that desperately needs one and his defensive expertise could be a big advantage in a division where the Chiefs continue to reign supreme.