Now that Josh McDaniels has been named the head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders, the first order of business is filling out his coaching staff. He has some big decisions to make as the players really resonated with last year’s staff. Greg Olson, Rich Bisaccia and Gus Bradley all did noteworthy jobs and a number of players came out and said they wanted the team to retain the same coaching staff.
With McDaniels on board, there will be big changes across the staff. However, that doesn’t mean he’ll be getting rid of everybody. According to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo, the Raiders have decided to retain wide receivers coach Edgar Bennett.
Bennett initially joined the Raiders staff in 2018 when Jon Gruden was hired. He’s done notable work with Hunter Renfrow, Nelson Agholor, Zay Jones and others. He also has a strong relationship with the returning players, per Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
With so much change happening, it’s smart for McDaniels to retain who he can to help ease the transition. Plus, there’s another potential benefit from keeping Bennett on the staff.
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Bennett Previously Coached Davante Adams in Green Bay
Though the team itself can’t say much, Derek Carr and other Raiders players haven’t been shy about wanting Green Bay Packers star wide receiver Davante Adams in Las Vegas. The five-time Pro Bowler is set to be a free agent in the coming months and the Raiders need a No. 1 wide receiver. Adams makes a ton of sense due to the fact that he played with Carr at Fresno State.
If the team is indeed planning on making a run at the wide receiver, keeping Bennett was a smart call. He was the wide receivers coach in Green Bay when Adams was a rookie before getting promoted to offensive coordinator. In total, Bennett coached him for the first five seasons of his career. There has to be some rapport between the two. Playing for his former coach and quarterback could be appealing to Adams. Adding the superstar would give McDaniels elite offensive personnel to work with.
Other Assistants Raiders Could Keep
Bennett is the first of the hires that McDaniels will make and it will be interesting to see if he retains any other assistants who were with the team last season. Defensive coordinator Gus Bradley could still have a shot at keeping the job. While the Raiders defense wasn’t elite last season, the group was greatly improved and played a big role in why the team made the playoffs. If Bradley is retained, linebackers coach Richard Smith and defensive backs coach Ron Milus will almost certainly return.
Considering how the defensive line played last season, McDaniels would be wise to see if defensive line coach Rod Marinelli is interested in staying. Interim head coach Rich Bisaccia is still one of the best special teams coordinators in the league. Players would be thrilled if he got to keep his old job. That’s likely a pipe dream as it’s hard to imagine McDaniels wants that kind of pressure heading into his first year.