The Oakland Raiders have turned to an old face to try to inspire their team after a disappointing season, hiring Jon Gruden for a second stint in charge.
After going 6-10 in Jack del Rio's second season, the Raiders have decided to appoint a man who took them to the playoffs in two of his four campaigns in charge from 1999 to 2002 and beat them in the Super Bowl XXXVII with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Their faith in Gruden could hardly be higher, with the 54-year-old leaving the broadcast booth with ESPN for an eye-watering 10-year, $100million contract, according to reports.
But do the numbers back up the Raiders' decision to hand him such a lucrative deal? Here we answer that question with the help of Opta facts.
The fourth most wins in team history
- Despite serving as Oakland's head coach for just four years, Gruden's 64 wins are the fourth most in team history.
- The Raiders averaged 9.5 wins in those four years. In the 16 seasons since, they have averaged 5.4 wins per season.
Two 10-win seasons
- Oakland won 10+ games twice in Gruden's four years in charge. They have won 10+ games twice in the 16 seasons since.
- Oakland averaged 24.3 points per regular season game with Gruden as head coach (scored a franchise-record 479 points in the 2000 regular season). They have averaged 18.9 since.
A terrific Tampa spell
- Gruden won 57 games as coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the most in team history. They have won 50 games since firing Gruden after the 2008 season.
- The Buccaneers won 9+ games in four of Gruden's seven seasons in charge. In the nine years since, they have won 9+ games just twice.
There can be no doubt that neither the Raiders nor the Buccaneers have come close to reaching the heights they did under Gruden's stewardship.
But the NFL has evolved significantly since Gruden was last in it and to throw such outlay at a coach who has only gone to the playoffs in five of his 11 seasons as a head coach is a substantial gamble that could backfire significantly for a franchise looking for success, stability and good PR heading into the relocation to Las Vegas in 2019 or 2020.