New Las Vegas Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels has spent much of his career only having to focus on the offensive side of the ball as an offensive coordinator. Now that he’s the head coach, he’ll be responsible for everything. His focus will still mostly be on the offensive side of the ball but the defense will be just as important to his success.
The Raiders haven’t had a very disciplined team in a long time. One of McDaniels’ biggest tests will be how to fix that. Early on in training camp, he’s letting it be known that he won’t accept anything less than perfection. During a drill, second-year pass rusher Malcolm Koonce got really close to quarterback Derek Carr who was wearing a red jersey – meaning he’s not supposed to be touched. McDaniels was not happy with this and blew up on Koonce.
There’s nothing wrong with a little tough love and, as a young player, Koonce likely needs some. He’s likely not the first player to get yelled at by McDaniels and certainly won’t be the last. Even future Hall of Famer Tom Brady would get into shouting matches with the coach.
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Chandler Jones Has Unique Bond With Koonce
Koonce is an interesting player to watch for the Raiders this season. He’s a pure pass rusher who showed flashes for the team last season in brief action. The team now has a new defensive coaching staff so it’s unclear how much leeway he’ll have with these types of mistakes. Luckily for him, one of the Raiders’ biggest names is in his corner.
All-Pro pass rusher Chandler Jones revealed that he has a unique bond with Koonce.
“When I found out Malcolm was from New York, I lit up because I was a young player from New York. And coming from New York and going into the NFL, it’s a very small percentile,” Jones said recently.
Having Jones taking a likely to Koonce could be a big deal for the young pass rusher. There aren’t many better teachers to have than one of the best pass rushers in NFL history.
McDaniels Emphasizes Cleaning up Mistakes
This early in training camp, there is bound to be a litany of mistakes. McDaniels is going to demand perfection so he’s not quite thrilled with what he’s seen in the first padded practices. He emphasized how important it is to learn from these mistakes.
“So many things showed up [Wedensay] just from an individual technique perspective that we need to correct and fix and do better,” McDaniels said before Thursday’s practice. “Our big thing is we don’t get many days like this where we get to redo a bunch of things we did yesterday without the urgency of adding a bunch of new installations and talking about an opponent and all those things that you have to do during the regular season.
“We don’t get many opportunities to do this, so today’s a great opportunity for us to make progress individually, which obviously then will collectively make us better. A lot of technique things and fundamental aspects of the game that we haven’t been able to do that we were able to do for the first time and now we have a shot to improve them.”
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