Feb 25, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; Former Detroit Lions head coach Jim Caldwell watches the game between the Charlotte Hornets and the Detroit Pistons at Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Jim Caldwell denies report he turned down NFL interviews

Former NFL head coach Jim Caldwell refuted a report that he turned down two chances to interview with NFL teams seeking a new coach.

ESPN reported earlier this week that Caldwell declined interview requests from the Minnesota Vikings and Las Vegas Raiders, but he issued a statement Saturday that said the news was false.

“I would like to correct an erroneous report that I turned down opportunities to interview for the head coaching job with Minnesota and Las Vegas. Those reports are not true,” Caldwell tweeted Saturday.

“I have profound respect for both organizations and for the Wilf and Davis families and I did not decline any opportunity to interview with them.”

The ESPN report said Caldwell rebuffed the interviews because he believed he had the inside track for the head coaching jobs with either the Chicago Bears or Jacksonville Jaguars.

Caldwell, 67, previously was the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts (2009-11) and Detroit Lions (2014-17). He led the Colts to a 26-22 record and the Lions to a 36-28 mark during his tenure.

The Colts were 2-2 in the playoffs during his tenure, and the Lions went 0-2.

–Field Level Media

Dec 12, 2021; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs running back Darrel Williams (31) is tackled by Las Vegas Raiders cornerback Nate Hobbs (39) during the second half at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Raiders’ Nate Hobbs caught driving 110 mph shortly after DUI

Las Vegas Raiders cornerback Nate Hobbs was cited for speeding at 110 mph about two weeks after he was arrested on suspicion of DUI, multiple reports said Friday.

KLAS in Las Vegas reported that state highway patrol troopers cited Hobbs on Sunday, around 11:45 a.m., for driving 110 in a 65 mph zone on a local highway. He was not arrested, but KLAS reported that Hobbs’ car was towed.

Previously, Hobbs was arrested early in the morning Jan. 3 on a DUI charge when he was found asleep in his car in a parking garage.

Hobbs was booked on misdemeanor DUI and has a court date set for May.

A fifth-round pick by Las Vegas in the 2021 NFL Draft, Hobbs just completed his rookie season. Following his Jan. 3 arrest, he played in the Raiders’ regular-season finale against the Los Angeles Chargers and their playoff loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, though he was not a starter for either game. He had eight tackles and a pass breakup against the Bengals.

–Field Level Media

Nov 21, 2021; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Las Vegas Raiders interim head coach Rich Bisaccia against the Cincinnati Bengals at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Raiders interview Rich Bisaccia for chance to remain coach

Interim head coach Rich Bisaccia was granted the first interview in the Las Vegas Raiders’ coaching search on Wednesday.

Bisaccia, 61, replaced Jon Gruden upon his Oct. 11 resignation amid a public scandal over leaked racist and insensitive emails sent by Gruden.

Bisaccia went 7-5 and guided the Raiders to the playoffs, earning vocal support of many of his current players. The longtime special teams coach had never been a head coach at any level before this season.

Pass rusher Maxx Crosby said Bisaccia is “one of a kind” and the “best man for the job.”

The only other known candidate for the position as of Wednesday is Jerod Mayo, the inside linebackers coach of the New England Patriots. Mayo also interviewed with other teams, most recently the Houston Texans, and is considered a rising star in coaching circles following a successful playing career.

Rumored candidates include Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh and former Philadelphia Eagles coach Doug Pederson.

Complicating the hiring process is the Raiders’ companion opening at general manager. The unique structure of personnel power in Las Vegas included Gruden having control over the roster and final say in most moves over recently discarded GM Mike Mayock.

–Field Level Media

Dec 3, 2021; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Las Vegas Raiders general manager Mike Mayock reacts during the 2021 Pac-12 Championship Game at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Raiders fire GM Mike Mayock after 3 seasons

After three seasons on the job, Mike Mayock is out as the general manager of the Las Vegas Raiders.

The team announced the move Monday, just two days after the Raiders fell 26-19 in the wild-card round of the NFL playoffs to the Cincinnati Bengals.

“We have relieved Mike Mayock of his duties as General Manager of the Las Vegas Raiders. We thank Mike for his contributions over the last three years in helping to form the foundation for the franchise to build upon in its future,” the Raiders said in a statement.

A former defensive back with the New York Giants, Mayock, 63, had never worked in an NFL front office until the Raiders hired him during the 2019 offseason — about a year after Jon Gruden returned to coach the team. Mayock had previously worked as a broadcaster for NBC and the NFL Network. He succeeded Reggie McKenzie as the Raiders’ GM.

Gruden resigned last October in the wake of an email scandal, which revealed that he had reportedly used racist, homophobic and misogynistic language dating back to 2010. Rich Bisaccia became the team’s interim head coach and guided the Raiders to a playoff berth.

During Mayock’s tenure as general manager, the Raiders went 25-24.

Mayock’s successor will be tasked with finding the Raiders’ next permanent head coach.

–Field Level Media

Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh walks off the field after the Wolverines' 34-11 loss to the Georgia Bulldogs in the Orange Bowl.

Syndication Detroit Free Press

Jim Harbaugh, Rich Bisaccia favorites for Raiders job

The Las Vegas Raiders are expected to make a high-profile run at Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh, but has Rich Bisaccia done enough to keep the job?

Bisaccia took over for Jon Gruden in October and led the Raiders to their first playoff appearance since 2016. Las Vegas’ season ended with a 26-19 loss at Cincinnati on Saturday, with the former special teams coordinator posting a 7-5 record as the interim coach.

Bisaccia has received support from several Raiders players, but Harbaugh is reportedly drawing interest from several NFL teams. That includes the Raiders, who may view Harbaugh as a glitzier hire as they continue to establish their brand in Las Vegas.

Harbaugh was installed as the +200 favorite to be hired as the Raiders’ next head coach by SportsBetting.ag on Monday morning, just ahead of Bisaccia at +250.

They are the top two clear favorites, with former Philadelphia Eagles coach Doug Pederson next at +500.

The fourth-shortest odds belong to Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin at +700. The Steelers’ season ended in a lopsided loss at Kansas City on Sunday night and the team is facing a quarterback change from Ben Roethlisberger.

Tomlin is under contract and has not indicated a desire to leave Pittsburgh, but has been tied to the Las Vegas opening as part of a potential “coach trade.”

Clemson coach Dabo Swinney is being offered at +800. The only other college coaches being offered are Stanford’s David Shaw (+1000) and Ole Miss’ Lane Kiffin, who has the longest odds at +10000.

Raiders Head Coach Odds
Jim Harbaugh: 2-1
Rich Bisaccia: 5-2
Doug Pederson: 5-1
Mike Tomlin: 7-1
Dabo Swinney: 8-1
Byron Leftwich: 10-1
David Shaw: 10-1
Eric Bieniemy: 10-1
Sean Payton: 10-1
Todd Bowles: 10-1
Brian Daboll: 14-1
Joe Brady: 16-1
Nathaniel Hackett: 20-1
Lane Kiffin: 100-1

–Field Level Media

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tyler Boyd catches a touchdown pass in the second quarter.

Syndication The Enquirer

Report: Bengals-Raiders officiating crew done for playoffs

The officiating crew for Saturday’s Las Vegas Raiders-Cincinnati Bengals AFC wild-card game is not expected to work again this postseason, according to a report from ESPN that cited an unnamed league source.

The crew, led by referee Jerome Boger, fell under scrutiny for a few issues, most notably a whistle that was blown during a play that saw Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow throw a touchdown pass to Tyler Boyd in the back of the end zone late in the second quarter.

The report indicated that the officials, an assembly of members from other regular-season crews, as is customary during the postseason, would not receive high grades for the game.

On the play, Burrow was scrambling and released the football just before he stepped out of bounds. Replay indicated that the whistle, which the officials called inadvertent, came while the ball was in the air and just before Boyd made the catch. The defender closest to Boyd appeared to ease up on the play just before the catch was made.

However, the officiating crew “determined that they had a whistle, but that the whistle for them on the field was blown after the receiver caught the ball,” according to Walt Anderson, the league’s senior vice president of officiating, who spoke to a pool reporter after the game.

The Bengals extended their lead to 20-6 with the score, and held on for a 26-19 win thanks to a goal-line interception of Raiders quarterback Derek Carr in the closing seconds.

–Field Level Media

Oct 31, 2021; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Josh Tupou (68) during the first half against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Bengals DT Josh Tupou inactive vs. Raiders

Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle Josh Tupou is one of the team’s inactives for Saturday’s AFC wild-card game against the visiting Las Vegas Raiders.

Tupou injured his knee during last Sunday’s 21-16 loss to the Cleveland Browns. He didn’t practice all week and was listed as doubtful.

Tupou started nine of 17 games played this season and had 12 tackles.

The Raiders will have defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins on the field. He was questionable with back and knee injuries.

Hankins had 38 tackles in 14 regular-season games.

–Field Level Media

Nov 28, 2021; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) reacts after scoring a touchdown against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first half at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

Bengals heavily backed against Raiders on short rest

The Cincinnati Bengals haven’t won a playoff game since the 1990 season, while the Raiders franchise now housed in Las Vegas last claimed a postseason victory during a 2002 season run to the Super Bowl.

A long drought will end for one of the franchises on Saturday when the fifth-seeded Raiders (10-7) battle the fourth-seeded Bengals (10-7) in an AFC wild-card contest in Cincinnati.

The Bengals opened as 5.0-point favorites at BetMGM but the line moved to 5.5 with Cincinnati being backed by the most tickets at the sportsbook. The Raiders have now been backed by 43 percent of the bets and 44 percent of the handle at BetMGM.

The line has remained at 5.0 at DraftKings, where the Bengals are being backed by 63 percent of the bets and 73 of the spread-line bets – both are the highest among the six games on Wildcard Weekend.

The Bengals have dropped eight consecutive playoff games, a skid that began with a 20-10 loss to the then-Los Angeles Raiders in the 1990-91 divisional round.

In recent years, Cincinnati locals have attributed the lack of postseason success to the “Curse of Bo Jackson.” In that game against the Raiders 31 years ago, linebacker Kevin Walker tackled Jackson after a 34-yard gain and Jackson injured his hip and never played another down of football.

The curse was news to third-year Bengals coach Zac Taylor when he was quizzed about it.

“We’re just way more focused on 2021, the present and going forward,” Taylor said. “So it’s OK to be aware of what’s gone on previously, but that’s not anything that takes up our time or our focus.”

The Raiders are in the postseason for just the second time since being clobbered 48-21 by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Super Bowl XXXVII.

They reached the postseason as the Oakland Raiders during the 2016 season, but quarterback Derek Carr missed the 27-14 wild-card loss to the Houston Texans due to a broken right fibula.

Carr and running back Jalen Richard are the team’s only players left from the 2016 squad.

“I hurt for him back then in 2016 when he wasn’t able to finish the season the way he wanted to finish it because again he was having such a stellar season,” Richard told reporters. “But now he’s coming in and he’s glowing. … I can’t wait to see him out there.”

Carr passed for a franchise-record 4,804 yards this season to go with 23 touchdowns and 14 interceptions.

He helped the Raiders win their last four games — each victory pivotal as Las Vegas didn’t clinch a berth until the final second of a 35-32 overtime win over the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday. The Raiders went 4-0 in OT games.

They now travel to Cincinnati on a short week to play another must-win game.

An unpleasant memory for Carr was the home game against the Bengals on Nov. 21 when Cincinnati pulled away in the fourth quarter for a convincing 32-13 victory.

Carr passed for 215 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Bengals back Joe Mixon was the star with 123 yards and two touchdowns on 30 carries.

“I felt that we didn’t put our best foot forward,” Carr said. “But at the same time, I don’t want to take anything away from them because they beat us and they did a good job of stopping us and getting the ball from us and all those things.

“It will be an exciting challenge for us.”

Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow passed for a career-low 148 yards in the November contest. However, the second-year pro was hot down the stretch with 11 touchdowns and no interceptions over his final four appearances.

Burrow passed for 971 yards in his last two games — a career-high 525 against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 16 and 446 vs. the Kansas City Chiefs the following week.

Overall, Burrow set franchise records of 4,611 yards and 34 touchdowns while being intercepted 14 times.

However, the 25-year-old quarterback is more interested in snapping that long stretch of feebleness in the postseason.

“I grew up in Ohio,” Burrow said. “I knew exactly everything that everybody says about the Bengals. I had a bunch of friends that are Bengals fans growing up, and I knew they hadn’t won a playoff game in a long time.”

The Bengals likely will be without defensive tackle Josh Tupou (knee), who was listed as doubtful after not practicing all week. Defensive back Ricardo Allen (concussion) and wide receiver Stanley Morgan (hamstring) are questionable after taking part in limited practice Wednesday and Thursday.

The Raiders will be without defensive tackle Darius Philon, who sustained a season-ending knee injury against the Chargers. Defensive tackle Johnathan Haskins (back, knee) returned to limited practice Thursday and is questionable.

Tight end Darren Waller (knee), running back Josh Jacobs (ribs) and cornerback Casey Hayward (ankle) were limited all week but are expected to play.

The Raiders are 2-0 in the postseason against Cincinnati, also prevailing 31-28 in the divisional round of the 1975 season playoffs.

–Field Level Media

Joe Burrow celebrates the Bengals' win over the Chiefs.

Syndication The Enquirer

Raiders, Bengals seek long-awaited playoff victory

The Cincinnati Bengals haven’t won a playoff game since the 1990 season, while the Raiders franchise now housed in Las Vegas last claimed a postseason victory during a 2002 season run to the Super Bowl.

A long drought will end for one of the franchises on Saturday when the fifth-seeded Raiders (10-7) battle the fourth-seeded Bengals (10-7) in an AFC wild-card contest in Cincinnati.

The Bengals have dropped eight consecutive playoff games, a skid that began with a 20-10 loss to the then-Los Angeles Raiders in the 1990-91 divisional round.

In recent years, Cincinnati locals have attributed the lack of postseason success to the “Curse of Bo Jackson.” In that game against the Raiders 31 years ago, linebacker Kevin Walker tackled Jackson after a 34-yard gain and Jackson injured his hip and never played another down of football.

The curse was news to third-year Bengals coach Zac Taylor when he was quizzed about it.

“We’re just way more focused on 2021, the present and going forward,” Taylor said. “So it’s OK to be aware of what’s gone on previously, but that’s not anything that takes up our time or our focus.”

The Raiders are in the postseason for just the second time since being clobbered 48-21 by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Super Bowl XXXVII.

They reached the postseason as the Oakland Raiders during the 2016 season, but quarterback Derek Carr missed the 27-14 wild-card loss to the Houston Texans due to a broken right fibula.

Carr and running back Jalen Richard are the team’s only players left from the 2016 squad.

“I hurt for him back then in 2016 when he wasn’t able to finish the season the way he wanted to finish it because again he was having such a stellar season,” Richard told reporters. “But now he’s coming in and he’s glowing. … I can’t wait to see him out there.”

Carr passed for a franchise-record 4,804 yards this season to go with 23 touchdowns and 14 interceptions.

He helped the Raiders win their last four games — each victory pivotal as Las Vegas didn’t clinch a berth until the final second of a 35-32 overtime win over the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday. The Raiders went 4-0 in OT games.

An unpleasant memory for Carr was the home game against the Bengals on Nov. 21 when Cincinnati pulled away in the fourth quarter for a convincing 32-13 victory.

Carr passed for 215 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Bengals back Joe Mixon was the star with 123 yards and two touchdowns on 30 carries.

“I felt that we didn’t put our best foot forward,” Carr said. “But at the same time, I don’t want to take anything away from them because they beat us and they did a good job of stopping us and getting the ball from us and all those things.

“It will be an exciting challenge for us.”

Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow passed for a career-low 148 yards in the November contest. However, the second-year pro was hot down the stretch with 11 touchdowns and no interceptions over his final four appearances.

Burrow passed for 971 yards in his last two games — a career-high 525 against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 16 and 446 vs. the Kansas City Chiefs the following week.

Overall, Burrow set franchise records of 4,611 yards and 34 touchdowns while being intercepted 14 times.

However, the 25-year-old quarterback is more interested in snapping that long stretch of feebleness in the postseason.

“I grew up in Ohio,” Burrow said. “I knew exactly everything that everybody says about the Bengals. I had a bunch of friends that are Bengals fans growing up, and I knew they hadn’t won a playoff game in a long time.”

The Bengals likely will be without defensive tackle Josh Tupou (knee), while defensive back Ricardo Allen (concussion) and receiver Tee Higgins (foot) were among those limited in Wednesday’s practice.

The Raiders will be without defensive tackle Darius Philon, who sustained a season-ending knee injury against the Chargers. Defensive tackle Johnathan Haskins (back, knee) didn’t practice Tuesday nor Wednesday. Tight end Darren Waller (knee), running back Josh Jacobs (ribs) and cornerback Casey Hayward (ankle) were limited on Wednesday.

The Raiders are 2-0 in the postseason against Cincinnati, also prevailing 31-28 in the divisional round of the 1975 season playoffs.

–Field Level Media

Sep 26, 2021; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Las Vegas Raiders defensive tackle Darius Philon (96) celebrates in the second half against the Miami Dolphinsat Allegiant Stadium.The Raiders defeated the Dolphins 31-28 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Raiders DT Darius Philon (knee) out for season

Las Vegas Raiders defensive tackle Darius Philon is out for the season with a knee injury, ESPN reported.

Philon tore his patellar tendon during Sunday night’s playoff-clinching 35-32 overtime win against the Los Angeles Chargers.

He will miss Saturday’s wild-card game at Cincinnati and could potentially be sidelined through the start of training camp in late July, based on the injury’s typical recovery period.

Philon, who turns 28 this month, will be a free agent in March. He played on a one-year, $990,000 deal this season.

He registered 27 tackles, two sacks and two fumble recoveries in 11 games (two starts) in 2021. He has 11.5 sacks in 65 career games (21 starts) with the San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers (2015-18) and Raiders.

–Field Level Media