In an effort to distance itself from the Jon Gruden era and move the franchise into the future, the Raiders are expected to hire former Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels as the franchise’s next head coach.
McDaniels comes from New England along with the new GM Dave Ziegler, and it is the latter’s presence in Las Vegas that probably led to McDaniels getting another chance as head coach.
That #Raiders expected to be employed #Patriots de facto GM Dave Ziegler as their new GM, pr. @MikeGarafolo and @TomPelissero. He was the key to New England’s rapid turnaround, and is now turning his attention to Las Vegas. The next step is planned to be the hiring of Josh McDaniels as head coach.
– Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 30, 2022
McDaniels was previously head coach of the Broncos for two seasons from 2009-10, but has become best known for his work in New England as an offensive coordinator, a position he held from 2005-08 and has held from 2012 onwards.
The 45-year-old is the second Bill Belichick protégé to be hired in this cycle after Brian Daboll was hired by the Giants.
Sporting News takes a look at why Las Vegas took this step and hired McDaniels.
Why did the Raiders hire Josh McDaniels?
As with the Giants ‘hiring of Daboll, it seems that confidentiality was a key in McDaniels’ return to the head coaching job. Ziegler served as New England’s director of gaming staff before being named GM in Vegas and having been with the Patriots for the past nine years. But his ties to McDaniels go far beyond that.
The two also worked together in Denver, where Ziegler served in the Broncos’ scout division. But the relationship does not stop there – the two are alumni from and former college teammates at John Carroll University in Ohio, where McDaniels was the recipient and Ziegler was the recipient and recurring.
McDaniels is also widely perceived as an offensive mind, an area where the Raiders have struggled not just this season, but over the past decade. Under McDaniels’ guidance, the Patriots had a top-10 overall offense eight times and a top-10 scoring offense 12 times in its two stints as OC. In the same period, the Raiders have ranked the top-10 in total offense three times and the top-10 in scoring offense four times.
Owner Mark Davis chose McDaniels over as interim head coach and former special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia, who coached the team’s last 12 games, going 7-5 and leading them to the playoffs in a move praised by some but not all.
Former NFL head coach Rex Ryan, now on ESPN, praised the move, calls it a “home run” rental, while star runner Josh Jacobs seemed to question the decision in a since-deleted tweet, which was also shared by The Athletics Vic Tafur, who covers the Raiders.
When the Raiders entered the offseason, where the Raiders were looking for a full-time head coach, the Raiders players were also quite loud in getting Bisaccia’s temporary roof removed.
“I’ve already said it many times: Rich is my choice if it was up to me,” said star-defensive lineman Maxx Crosby, talks about Colin Cowherds ‘The Herd’ on January 20th. “He’s a leader. He’s a leader of men. He’s someone you look forward to seeing every morning. He’s a great coach from top to bottom.” I think he deserved it. We won 10 matches this year. With all the things going on in our building, we still found a way to win. I think that’s a great reflection of Rich. “
Quarterback Derek Carr also reiterated Crosby’s support.
“I think we can all believe he’s the right guy,” Carr said. “He has proven that people listen to him. Our team listens to him. And I love him so much, I’m grateful to him. All those things will be decisions that I do not make, I do not get taken. I just play quarterback … but with everything that was going on, if you really look at what happened, all the pieces were missing, everything that changed, yes, he kept it together. “
Josh McDaniel’s coaching history
McDaniels has had far more success as an offensive coordinator than as a head coach until this point in his career. He has led the Patriots to the top-10 overall offense and scoring violations several times, and although much of it was with Tom Brady as the quarterback, his new team – the Raiders – has struggled in that division.
After starting his coaching career with Nick Saban in East Lansing in 1999, he came to New England in 2001, where he served in various roles before being promoted to full-time OC in 2005, a job he held until 2008. He did well enough in that role to get his first NFL head coach appearance, a two-year tenure with the Broncos from 2009-10.
His first season in Denver, they went 8-8 and finished in second place in the AFC West and were ranked No. 15 in total offense and 20th place in scoring offense before going record-breaking back in 2010, going 3-9 and being fired in the middle in season.
From Denver, he spent a year with the Rams as their OC and QB coach before returning to New England in 2012 as an offensive coordinator, a position he held until he was hired by the Raiders.