The Las Vegas Raiders made a splash hire. According to multiple reports, the Raiders have appointed former New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels as their next head coach. McDaniels will succeed Jon Gruden and former interim head coach Rich Bisaccia, who was relieved of his duties following Vegas' first-round postseason exit at the hands of the Super Bowl-bound Cincinnati Bengals. McDaniels may be a controversial hire, but he’s the right one for a soaring Raiders franchise. Allow us to explain. The offensive-minded McDaniels takes charge of a Raiders roster that possesses several high-level offensive talents. Starting quarterback Derek Carr qualifies as a legitimate top-15 quarterback in the NFL. Tight end Darren Waller is an elite playmaker at the position and a talent worth building your passing game around. McDaniels was privy to several difference-makers at the tight end position via his long tenure with the Patriots and will have an ideal understanding of how to best deploy Waller in his offense. Furthermore, Tom Brady, McDaniels, and the Patriots consistently benefitted from possessing top-notch slot receivers in their offense, and Hunter Renfrow is an extremely similar player to the types McDaniels has had success with in the past (Wes Welker, Julian Edelman, and so on). This Raiders’ supporting cast will benefit from McDaniels' presence. McDaniels is fully capable of elevating a talented offense that failed to reach the desired heights under former offensive coordinator Greg Olson, whose offensive scheme was often described as vanilla and predictable. The 2021 iteration of the Raiders averaged a rather poor 22 points per contest, which ranked 18th across the NFL. There's plenty of room for improvement here with many of the right pieces already in place. McDaniels' appointment will also undeniably be met with a plethora of controversy. It qualifies as McDaniels' second official head coaching job after the Barberton, Ohio native took charge of the Denver Broncos for a pair of underwhelming seasons in 2009 and a partial portion of the 2010 campaign. McDaniels won just 11 of 28 contests and was fired midway through the 2010 season after a 3-9 start. McDaniels was the center of several team-related controversies in Denver, including an alleged videotaping scandal and the benching and eventual trade of star wide receiver Brandon Marshall. The controversies don’t stop there. McDaniels verbally accepted an offer to become the next head coach of the Indianapolis Colts ahead of the 2018 campaign. Despite a press conference being called to introduce McDaniels to media members, McDaniels withdrew from the position and announced he had instead decided to remain with the Patriots. The news sent shockwaves around the league and Colts general manager Chris Ballard was visibly upset by McDaniels’ shocking and unprecedented decision to leave the Colts at the altar. Fan outrage arrived in bunches, but high-ranking league executives consistently gave off the impression that McDaniels' reputation was not as stained as much as public perception would lead one to believe. No, McDaniels remained a popular future head coaching candidate and has now landed the job he viewed worthy of ultimately departing the Patriots for. Raiders owner Mark Davis has clearly shown faith in McDaniels' growth and maturation as both a coach and person. Pairing him with new general manager Dave Ziegler qualifies as a major win for the Raiders' organization. Ziegler was appointed as GM the same day McDaniels was announced as the head coach, a clear signal that this pairing was always in the works. Ziegler joined the Patriots in 2013 as their assistant director of pro scouting and quickly rose through the ranks en route to becoming their director of player personnel and de-facto general manager. McDaniels' and Ziegler's vision for the future of the Raiders will line up philosophically which is an excellent sign for all parties involved. It's critical for a team to employ a general manager and head coach who view things similarly from a roster construction standpoint, and McDaniels and Ziegler will embark on their new journeys in sync. McDaniels possesses an intriguing and excellent resume (six Super Bowls) that also has some ugly, unforgettable blemishes. Davis is trusting Ziegler and McDaniels to usher in a new and exciting era of Raiders football. McDaniels is an offensive-minded head coach that's capable of putting Vegas' plethora of playmakers in good positions to elevate their game. This hire qualifies as a resounding success.
- Aug 08, 2022
- Aug 08, 2022