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The Raiders Enter the Josh McDaniels Era

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The Las Vegas Raiders first hired former New England Patriots director of player personnel Dave Ziegler as general manager. Then, Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels was also brought in as head coach in a package deal.

Bill Belichick, the head coach of the New England Patriots, stated several times throughout the season that Ziegler was in charge of the personnel department. McDaniels has stated often in recent years that he desired to return to being a head coach, but he was very picky about which job he would accept.

One prospect on which to rely was to collaborate with someone he knows. McDaniels has worked with Ziegler, and this was crucial for him to accept the job. Both of the ex-Pats employees attended John Carroll University in Ohio and were teammates on the football team, the Blue Streaks. When McDaniels was appointed as head coach of the Denver Broncos in 2009, he took Ziegler with him to serve in the scouting department.

KANSAS CITY, MO – DECEMBER 5: Head Coach Josh McDaniels of the Denver Broncos before a game against the Kansas City Chiefs on December 5, 2010 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. The Chiefs defeated the Broncos 10-6. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

McDaniels’ Career with the Patriots 

Right now, Josh McDaniels is like a former vice president considering a run for president who had a vision of how the overall country would look if he decided to run. McDaniels is in his second stint as an NFL head coach, having previously held the position with the Denver Broncos. He coached at Denver in 2009 and 2010, but was dismissed following a 3–9 start in his second season. Furthermore, McDaniels was also the offensive coordinator for the St. Louis Rams in 2011.

He has been New England’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach since 2012, after serving as an assistant under Bill Belichick from 2001 to 2008. In addition, Josh McDaniels most notably accepted, and then rejected, the Colts‘ head coaching position in 2018.

The fact that McDaniels’ biggest success occurred with Tom Brady at quarterback complicates his background. However, with rookie QB Mac Jones having the most success of any rookie quarterback this season, the Barberton native’s popularity is rising once more.

PHILADELPHIA, PA – AUGUST 19: Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels of the New England Patriots talks to Mac Jones #10 against the Philadelphia Eagles in the preseason game at Lincoln Financial Field on August 19, 2021 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Patriots defeated the Eagles 35-0. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

What McDaniels has done with the Patriots offense is pretty exciting, to say the least. The following five players underwent noticeable development under McDaniels in this offense:

  • Damien Harris has developed into a stud running back over the past two years.
  • Michael Onwenu, who is been a stud ever since he got drafted, in the 6th round.
  • Jakobi Meyers has been a developmental WR for the Patriots over the past couple of years.
  • Isaiah Wynn, who is a former Georgia Bulldog and a first-round pick has been really rock solid.
  • Then you have Mac Jones, who I liked coming out of the most recent draft and has been solid at the very start of his career.

On the other hand, you have N’Keal Harry, who was their 1st round pick in 2018, being nothing but a disappointment since. Other than Harry, though, the Patriots have been developing their primary weapons mainly thanks to McDaniels.

How McDaniels fits on the Raiders

This might be a great fit for both the Raiders and McDaniels.

Firstly, Derek Carr and Josh Jacobs are a great duo to have in the backfield. Carr has been one of the most consistent QBs since entering the league, and a former MVP type of player. Josh Jacobs, meanwhile, is the biggest stock riser with this hire. McDaniels and his running attack have been crucial to the success that he has had as a coach. Guys like Damien Harris, Dion Lewis, LeGarrette Blount, and James White have all been very high-quality players under Josh McDaniels.

Secondly, the available receiving and tight end artillery is of no worse projections. Josh McDaniels gets a top-seven tight end in the league in Darren Waller to play with, not to mention the high riser slot WR Hunter Renfrow. Meanwhile, McDaniels is known for loving slot WRs. Chris Hogan, Danny Amendola, and Julian Edelman were all great players who played that “slot” role for McDaniels. These four players are going to go off in this offense. Some other guys that could be good are WR Bryan Edwards and fullback Alec Ingold who can play a role like James Develin.

DENVER, CO – OCTOBER 17: Tight end Darren Waller #83 of the Las Vegas Raiders catches a pass during the first half against the Denver Broncos at Empower Field at Mile High on October 17, 2021 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

At the same time, the offensive line needs a little work. Players like Kolton Miller at left tackle and 2021 first-round pick Alex Leatherwood are the most noteworthy assets. On the defensive side, they have star pass rusher Maxx Crosby who had the best season out of any edge rusher in the league. Also notable are second-year safety Tre’von Moehrig, who played very well as a rookie, and defensive backs Nate Hobbs and Trayvon Mullen. All of these players are the building blocks on this Raiders defense. Lastly, the door is still open for the club to bring in former Baltimore Ravens Defensive Coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale, who is close friends with Owner Mark Davis.

All in all, the Raiders need a lot of help, and the process to get them to the Super Bowl will not be quick.

Thanks for reading my article on the Las Vegas Raiders’ hiring of Josh McDaniels. For more quality content, consider following my Twitter account @joshripka1, and follow @OTH_Football and @OT_Heroics on Twitter and Instagram.

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