The Las Vegas Raiders have spent two decades hating the New England Patriots due to the Tuck Rule game from 2001 that eliminated the Raiders from the playoffs. Whether or not Tom Brady actually fumbled the ball after getting sacked by Charles Woodson has been debated heavily and ESPN has a documentary about the game coming on February 6. New Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels was in his first year on the Patriots staff during that game and would have one less Super Bowl ring had the play been ruled a fumble.
McDaniels likely thought the play was ruled correctly for a long time but he’s had to change his mindset. Raiders owner Mark Davis revealed that the coach had an admission prior to their interview.
“When I met Josh on Saturday, we met in the hallway as we were passing, it was before the interview process was going to start, and I said, hey, I introduced myself and everything and he looked me in the eye and he said, ‘There’s one thing: It was a fumble,'” Davis said Monday in McDaniels’ introductory press conference, referencing the Tuck Rule game. “So, Raider Nation, if you’re worried, he’s already come over to the dark side. True story.”
McDaniels confirmed that this conversation did happen. Fans weren’t exactly thrilled with the hiring of the former Patriots offensive coordinator but moments like this could start to win some of them over.
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Davis Details Interview Process
The last time the Raiders had a coaching search, it wasn’t actually much of a search. Davis knew he wanted Jon Gruden and quickly hired him after the 2017 season ended. This time, Las Vegas launched a full search in an effort to make the right decision.
“In every interview we did with a head coach (candidate), we asked him who he’d think of as the general manager,” Davis said. “On the other side of the coin, we asked that to every general manager (candidate) as well, who would you think of as a head coach. We felt that it was really important for them to have synergy, and I couldn’t have found a better pair of people working together, from John Carroll University, than these two gentlemen.”
McDaniels failed as the head coach of the Denver Broncos but that was over a decade ago. Davis must believe that the coach has learned a lot in that time. The Raiders aren’t a rebuilding team and are expected to get back into the playoffs next season. McDaniels has to keep the Raiders relevant if he hopes to win over the players and fan base.
McDaniels Will See Patriots in 2022
McDaniels’ first season with the Raiders will be filled with familiar faces. Obviously, he now coaches in the AFC West again so he’ll be seeing the Broncos twice a year. He’d love to consistently show up his former team. Not only will he be seeing the Broncos next season, but he’ll also be seeing his old friend Bill Belichick.
The Raiders will be hosting the Patriots at some point of the season in Las Vegas. It should be an exciting first year for McDaniels in silver and black.