The Las Vegas Raiders have their next head coach and general manager. The team announced on January 30 it hired Dave Ziegler, director of player personnel for the New England Patriots. And, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the team also has finalized a contract with Josh McDaniels to be the Raiders’ new head coach, replacing interim head coach Rich Bisaccia.
It seems one Raider might not be too thrilled with the news.
Running back Josh Jacobs tweeted a grimacing face emoji on January 30 and then quickly deleted it, but not before it was captured by another Twitter user.
Jacobs praised the sideline vibe instilled by Bisaccia during an October 2021 press conference.
Doug Williams, who worked with Bisaccia in Tampa Bay from 2004 to 2008, also seemed to support Jacobs’ appraisal of Bisaccia. “Honestly, there’s not a player … on any team that hasn’t loved playing for Rich,” Willams told USA Today’s Mike Allen in October 2021. “He knows how to talk to men and get the most out of them.”
Many Raiders players said they loved playing for Bisaccia, and one of them, quarterback Derek Carr, said that Bisaccia had earned the permanent job after leading the team to the playoffs after the departure of Jon Gruden in October.
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How McDaniels Could Benefit Jacobs
The hiring of McDaniels could be good news to Jacobs. As offensive coordinator for the Patriots, McDaniels was the architect of the eighth-best rushing offense in the NFL in 2021. Meanwhile, the Raiders’ rushing offense ranked 28th, ahead of only four teams.
Given the success McDaniels has had with the Patriots – who finished in the top 10 in rushing three of past four years – Jacobs could be in line to have a career year in 2022.
In 2021, Jacobs, who will be 24 years old when the 2022 season opens, ran for 872 yards and nine touchdowns, with an average of 4 yards per carry.
This hiring could also be great news for running back Kenyan Drake. The Patriots are famous for using their running backs in the passing game. In 2021, Drake averaged 9.7 yards per reception (the best average of his career), totaling 291 receiving yards and a touchdown.
Major Changes in Las Vegas
Hiring both McDaniels and Ziegler means major changes are coming to Las Vegas. Former general manager Mike Mayock had no experience when the Raiders hired him. Ziegler, 44, has been in NFL front offices for 12 years, starting in 2010 with the Denver Broncos. He joined the Patriots in 2013 and was part of three Super Bowl-winning teams.
McDaniels, 45, has just under two years of experience as a head coach in the NFL. He went 11-17 as coach of the Broncos in 2009 and part of 2010. He was fired in December 2010 when the Broncos were 3-9.
Meanwhile, it appears Bisaccia will be looking for a job elsewhere. On January 31, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero tweeted that the Jacksonville Jaguars were going to interview Bisaccia for their vacant head coaching job. On January 28, NBC Sports reported that the Chicago Bears have considered Bisaccia, 61, for their special teams coordinator.
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At the end of the ’96 season, the players all rallied around the much-loved offensive line/assistant head coach, Joe Bugel. Al took that to heart and installed him as the HC for the ’97 season. Four. And. Twelve. Picking up the pieces after the unfortunate, and in Rugg’s case, tragic situations the team faced is one thing. Hirings a new staff (if they kept Greg Olson…), putting together a draft, dealing with FA’s going out and coming in, all of the 365-day a year job that is now head coaching is different. McDaniels has that experience. And he sucked. One of the best ways of learning. He knows what he did wrong. Belichick was awful as the Cleveland Browns HC. I’ll say no more.