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Oakland Raiders Head Coach Candidates: Winston Moss

The Oakland Raiders may already have a front runner for their vacant head coaching position. In fact, rumors that Winston Moss could be the next Raider head coach began before it was even officially announced that Hue Jackson would not be back for a second season.

This, however, should not come as a shock to anyone familiar with the situation. Winston Moss is a former Raider who worked as a coach in Green Bay under Reggie McKenzie. On top of that, Moss' name had been tied to the Raiders since long before McKenzie became their general manager. Moss was noted as a potential candidate for the Raiders head coaching job both before Tom Cable got the job, and after Tom Cable lost the job.

Thus, it is not surprising that Moss is considered a serious candidate for most recent opening at the head coach position for the Raiders. However, while Moss seems to make sense on the surface, let's take a deeper look into Moss and whether or not he really would be the optimal choice as the Raiders next head coach.

As I noted above, not only is Winston Moss a former NFL linebacker, he is actually a former Raiders linebacker. Moss was drafted in the second round by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where he played for four seasons before he became a Raider. After Tampa Bay, Moss played for the Los Angeles Raiders from 1991 to 1994 before finishing his career with the Seattle Seahawks from 1995-1997.

After retiring as a player, Moss did not waste any time before getting into the coaching ranks. Moss' first job as a coach came in 1998 with the Seattle Seahawks as a defensive quality control assistant. After his stint with the Seahawks, Moss became a defensive quality control assistant for the New Orleans Saints in 2000. The next season he was promoted to be the linebackers coach for the Saints, a position which he held from 2001 until 2005. In 2006, Moss began his tenure with the Green Bay Packers as their linebackers coach. After a year with the Packers, Moss was promoted to assistant head coach, a position he has held to this day.

Winston Moss does have an issue in that he has no head coaching experience and no experience as a coordinator. However, it should probably be noted that after the 2008 season, Packers coach Mike McCarthy cleaned house on the defensive side of the ball. However, Moss was the only major defensive coach to keep his job. The fact that Moss was valued this highly by a coach as smart and successful as Mike McCarthy should speak volumes about his quality as a coach.