The Las Vegas Raiders coaching staff under Josh McDaniels is finally coming together. Much of the focus on who he hired has been put on the defense considering he’s expected to pull a lot of weight on offense. There was chatter about Bill O’Brien possibly being the next offensive coordinator to replace Greg Olson but McDaniels has decided to go with somebody much younger.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Raiders have hired New England Patriots wide receivers coach Mick Lombardi as their next offensive coordinator. Schefter also reported that Carmen Bricillo will be taking over for Tom Cable as offensive line coach.
Lombardi is very young at just 33-years-old and got his NFL start in 2013 with the San Francisco 49ers. He’s been an assistant on both defense and offense before becoming the wide receivers coach for the Patriots. He’s worked under McDaniels for three seasons so he knows what the coach likes. McDaniels will likely call the plays and create the playbook so an offensive coordinator under him will have a limited role. Hiring a young up-and-comer like Lombardi could be a wise move. It’s impossible to know how he’ll do as an offensive coordinator due to his young resume but McDaniels clearly sees promise in him if he’s going to make him his right-hand man on offense.
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Raiders Land Promising OL Coach
Though hiring an offensive coordinator is more notable, perhaps the decision to hire Bricillo as offensive line coach is even more important. According to Pro Football Focus, the Raiders had the 28th best offensive line in the NFL in 2021. After the team decided to overhaul their offensive line personnel in the offseason, it quickly became clear that it wasn’t a very good group.
One thing the Patriots are consistently good at is crafting a strong offensive line. Under Bricillo, the team’s offensive line ranked 10th in the NFL this season. It was his first year as an offensive line coach in the NFL on his own and it was impressive, especially considering starting right tackle Trent Brown missed eight games. Bricillo’s sample size is small but this could be a great hire for the Raiders as they look to improve the offensive line.
Cable & Olson Shown the Door
Olson and Cable were both in their second stints with the Raiders and while they played a role in getting the team to the playoffs this season, it was clear neither would be brought back once Rich Bisaccia didn’t get the head coaching job. Olson wasn’t a play-caller for the Raiders under Jon Gruden until the coach resigned. He left a lot to be desired as the team’s red zone offense was atrocious.
Cable got off to a rough start with the Raiders in 2018 as the offensive line was among the worst in the NFL. The team added some better players in Rich Incognito and Trent Brown heading into 2019 and ended up being a really good unit. The offensive line was also strong in 2020. However, Cable’s group took a major step back in 2021 and he could’ve lost his job even if the Raiders kept Bisaccia this offseason.