Another head coaching vacancy has been filled in the AFC West, this time it was the Las Vegas Raiders.
The Raiders are expected to hire New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels as their next head coach, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Sunday, January 30. McDaniels will be paired with another former member of the Patriots — Dave Ziegler, who was officially hired as Las Vegas’ general manager the same day.
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McDaniels, Ziegler Enter Good Situation
Both McDaniels and Ziegler are walking into a good situation. The Raiders are coming off a season in which they had a 10-7 record during the regular season and made the playoffs, albeit resulting in a first-round knockout. This was with interim head coach Rich Bisaccia leading the team after Jon Gruden resigned on October 11.
Las Vegas has a strong core of good players, which consists of Maxx Crosby, Hunter Renfrow, Darren Waller, Nate Hobbs, and Denzel Perryman — to name a few.
They also have one of the most important things any new head coach needs: a good quarterback. Derek Carr is the longest-tenured quarterback in the AFC now that Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has retired. Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson (2017) are next on that list, per The Athletic.
McDaniels has generated little buzz as a head coaching candidate over the last three years. That mainly had to do with the situation involving McDaniels pulling out of his agreement with the Indianapolis Colts to be their head coach at the last minute back in 2018.
Despite that, the lone team that interviewed McDaniels during the 2022 hiring cycle hired him to lead their team.
McDaniels fills the second and final head coaching vacancy that resided in the AFC West during the 2022 hiring cycle. The Denver Broncos hired Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett as their head coach on Friday, January 28.
If McDaniels and Hackett can help continue to build their respective teams in the right direction, then the Raiders and Broncos, along with the Los Angeles Chargers and Kansas City Chiefs, will create one of the most competitive divisions in the entire NFL.
Twitter Reacts to McDaniels Hire
The reactions regarding McDaniels becoming Las Vegas’ next head coach poured onto Twitter shortly after the news broke.
“So the Raiders plan on hiring OC Josh McDaniels. Really? The same recycled coach that Failed in Denver and then accepted the Colts HC job only to leave them at the Alter and decline the position,” one Twitter user wrote.
“Still not sitting right with me that Josh Mcdaniels keep getting HC Chances. But Brian Flores is sitting there unemployed and Eric Bieniemy haven’t gotten any HC offers,” another Twitter user wrote.
“There was not a candidate who checked more boxes than Josh McDaniels. How wasn’t McDaniels a serious candidate for more openings? That’s a big win for the Raiders,” Dan Pompei of The Athletic wrote.
“In my mind, Josh McDaniels delivered a 100 page PowerPoint with 99 pages on how he plans to use Hunter Renfrow,” ESPN’s Mina Kimes wrote.
“Dave Ziegler was critical to the operation this past offseason that reshaped the Patriots roster,” Phil Perry of NBC Sports Boston wrote. “He and Josh McDaniels (presumed HC) will bring a shared vision to Vegas. New facilities. Capable veteran quarterback. Star tight end. Talented pass rush. Plenty to work with.