When the Las Vegas Raiders hired Josh McDaniels as head coach last year, fans weren’t overly enthused due to his past failure as a head coach with the Denver Broncos. He promised that he had changed since then and fans started to come around when the team extended a number of fan-favorite players and traded for star wide receiver Davante Adams. However, it didn’t take long for the fans to turn on him and were calling for him to get fired as early as Week 2 following a blown 20-point lead against the Arizona Cardinals.
Things didn’t get better as the Raiders went 6-11 and missed the playoffs. This offseason, the team has already moved on from star players Darren Waller and Derek Carr. McDaniels has signed players he’s more familiar with Jimmy Garoppolo and Jakobi Meyers. Former Pro Bowl wide receiver Brandon Marshall worked under McDaniels in 2009 and had issues with the coach. He was traded away despite being tied for the NFL lead in receptions the previous season. He has never been a fan of the coach and came out hard against McDaniels following the Waller trade.
“If Josh McDaniels doesn’t turn the team around this year, his a** needs to be fired … and banned from the NFL,” Marshall said on the March 15 episode of the “I Am Athlete” podcast. “You can’t even be an offensive coordinator. What are you doing? This is your second time around and you’re doing the same thing.”
Is McDaniels on the Hot Seat?
McDaniels had a number of built-in excuses when he took over the Raiders’ job. Though the team made the playoffs in 2021, it wasn’t a sustainable situation. The team has drafted incredibly poorly over the years and the defense was a mess. Carr, who was coming off one of his best seasons, was never beloved by owner Mark Davis. When he put together a bad 2022 season, it was easy to use him as the scapegoat.
McDaniels won’t have a scapegoat in 2023. The Raiders are now filled with the players that he’s familiar with and he’s going to continue to bring in his guys. Davis was patient last season but how much longer will he be OK with missing the playoffs? As the roster is currently constructed, they are not a playoff team. McDaniels needs to at least show improvement over last year or his seat could be hot by the end of the year. Davis is being patient but he’s not going to hitch his franchise to a failing coach who has never proven he can win as the man in charge.
Will Patriots Way Work This Time?
A big reason many weren’t thrilled with the Raiders’ decision to hire McDaniels as head coach is due to the fact that former Patriots coaches under Bill Belichick have not been good as head coaches. McDaniels said that he didn’t want to bring the Patriot Way to the Raiders when he was hired and it was believable when the team re-signed a number of key players from the 2021 squad. This offseason shows that McDaniels is going back to what he knows.
The Patriots Way has never worked outside of New England but the Raiders are going to be the latest team to try. If it doesn’t work out this time, it’s hard to imagine another team going in this direction again.