Coordinator Candidates for Josh McDaniels-Raiders Coaching Staff Emerge

josh mcdaniels

Getty Las Vegas Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels.

As the coaching search has gone on, it’s been difficult to figure out what the Las Vegas Raiders might do with its opening. The early front runner was Jim Harbaugh and it seemed like a matter of time before he got an offer. However, the team has yet to interview him and it appears there is a new favorite.

There have been rumblings about the Raiders making a run at New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels over the past week. The team has now officially requested to interview the coach for the head coach opening, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

This news comes at a surprising time as The Athletic’s Vic Tafur just recently reported that the Raiders were losing interest in McDaniels. Owner Mark Davis hasn’t been tipping his hand so it’s difficult to gauge the situation. Many are ready to proclaim McDaniels as the Raiders’ next head coach but the interview process will need to play out before a decision is made.

If McDaniels is the guy, Las Vegas will almost certainly hire Patriots executive Dave Ziegler as general manager, who the team has already interviewed. That would mean the Raiders are on the path to building a Patriots-esque operation. There’s also already been chatter regarding who could join McDaniels’ coaching staff.

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Bill O’Brien Named OC Candidate

Should McDaniels gets the Raiders job, it’s logical that he’ll be running the offense and calling the plays. Even with that likely being the case, he could bring in a veteran offensive playcaller and former head coach as his offensive coordinator. According to Schefter, former Houston Texans head coach and current Alabama offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien would be in the mix in Las Vegas.

O’Brien served as the offensive coordinator for the Patriots in 2011. The offense averaged 32.3 points a game that season, which was third in the NFL. Obviously, having Tom Brady at quarterback makes running an offense a lot easier. That said, O’Brien does deserve credit for helping develop Deshaun Watson into one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. He’s not a name fans will love considering how his tenure in Houston ended but he’d just be another offensive mind who would help execute McDaniels’ vision.

Don ‘Wink’ Martindale Likely DC Candidate

The most important hire for McDaniels if he gets the head coaching job in Las Vegas will be the defensive coordinator. He’s spent a long time focusing on offense so he needs a strong defensive mind who can run that side of the ball. According to Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, former Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale could be a strong option for the Raiders’ defensive coordinator job.

Martindale almost makes too much sense in Las Vegas. He spent five years as the Raiders’ linebackers coach from 2004 to 2008. He’s also remained a close friend with Davis. Martindale was surprisingly let go by the Ravens recently after his defense took a step back in 2021. Prior to that, Baltimore was top-three in scoring defense every year under Martindale. The Ravens were ravaged by injuries on defense this season so the down year can’t be held against him too much. While many Raiders fans don’t love the idea of McDaniels taking over, he could put together a great coaching staff.

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