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ALAMEDA – Tony Sparano has that pesky “interim” tag before his job title of Raiders head coach. He’d like to remove it.
Sparano has been invigorated by this career pursuit, a promotion prompted by the firing of Dennis Allen after a Week 4 loss to Miami.
Sparano is 2-7 since taking over this team, but has kept the Raiders together over a bumpy, bumpy road. The Raiders have proven resilient, and Sparano deserves tremendous credit for that.
While seems extremely unlikely that he will, Sparano did say Monday that he’d like to stick around.
“There’s no question about it. Of course I do,” Sparano said in a weekly radio interview on 95.7-FM in the Bay Area market. “…I love this football team and I love this organization. But that’s for somebody else to decide. Right now, my job is to get ready for (Sunday’s game against) Kansas City.”
Raiders owner Mark Davis hasn’t recently discussed his preferences for a future head coach, though he’s expected to go outside the organization for the next team leader. It seems likely he could go for bigger name if one’s available. National reports have recently said the Raiders have interest in 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh. There's no secret about Davis' affinity for former Raiders coach Jon Gruden.
General manager Reggie McKenzie hasn’t spoken publicly since a press conference announcing Sparano’s promotion despite several interview requests.
Sparano knew the question was coming, and it seemed fitting following Sunday’s 24-13 victory over the 49ers, which succeeded a 52-0 thrashing at St. Louis where many left the Raiders for dead.
“It’s not a question for me. I was given a job to do several weeks ago, trying to do the job the way that I know how to do the job,” Sparano said in a Monday press conference. “…I know where our players are. I know what they think and I know how they respond. I can tell by their response, so I feel really good about where we are right now. I love this group of guys and I like coaching them and I love this team. So, that’s all I’ll say to you.”