John Madden was sitting in on the Oakland Raiders head coaching search and it was his wisdom that lead them away from bringing back Tony Sparano.
It has been years since John Madden has publicly been involved with football, but he hasn’t strayed far from the game. The Hall of Fame coach, video game mogul and iconic announcer has been helping his Oakland Raiders in their search for a head coach.
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After firing Dennis Allen less than halfway through the season this year, the Oakland Raiders rode out the rest of the 2014 season with Tony Sparano leading the charge. He didn’t do all that bad either, as Derek Carr looked more than capable of developing into a franchise quarterback and Sparano was part of some signature wins over the Chiefs, Bills and 49ers.
But even though he lobbied for the head coaching job beyond 2014, the Raiders decided that Jack Del Rio was the guy they wanted instead. Actually, the Raiders weren’t the ones making the call as John Madden was the chief advisor in the decision for the team to pass on Sparano in favor of Del Rio.
According to NFL Network’s Jeff Darlington, it was John Madden who said no to hiring Tony Sparano, which paved the way for Del Rio to be hired.
“Madden’s role in Raiders’ decision to hire Del Rio was big, even bigger than GM Reggie McKenzie,” Darlington reports. “Madden ultimately decided against Sparano.”
Sparano will land somewhere, as he’s an offensive minded coach who proved he could win with a young guy in Carr. He’s by no means a guru, and his failed stints in Dallas, Miami and now Oakland speak volumes to that. Still, if Dennis Allen is being considered for jobs at this point, there’s nothing saying Tony Sparano can’t latch on as a coordinator somewhere — so long as John Madden says it’s cool and all.
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