New Las Vegas Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels continues to put together his coaching staff and has already made his most important hire in defensive coordinator Patrick Graham. Considering McDaniels will be running the offense, the next most important hire he’ll make is for special teams coordinator. Rich Bisaccia served the role for the last four seasons and was beloved by players.
He’s getting hired by the Green Bay Packers so the Raiders had to find a replacement. The team was briefly linked to former New York Giants head coach Joe Judge but he decided to go back to the New England Patriots, per Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated. With Judge no longer an option, McDaniels turned his sight to another familiar face. According to Mike Klis of 9News, the Raiders are hiring former Denver Broncos special teams coordinator Tom McMahon.
McMahon and McDaniels were both on the Rams staff in 2011. They must’ve maintained a relationship over the last decade. McMahon has been a special teams coordinator in the NFL since 2009 so he’s highly experienced.
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Broncos Had Poor Special Teams Under McMahon
McMahon has been coaching special teams for a very long time but this could be the first questionable hire McDaniels has made. During his four years in Denver, the Broncos has never had a special teams unit that ranked higher than 21st in the NFL, according to Sports Illustrated’s rankings. Last year, the Broncos had the 27th ranked special teams unit.
Bisaccia never had a top-10 unit in Las Vegas but was consistently solid. Perhaps McMahon’s personnel in Denver just wasn’t a great fit and he’ll do better in Las Vegas. That remains to be seen. Luckily, he inherits an All-Pro punter in A.J. Cole and an elite kicker in Daniel Carlson. At the very least, the Raiders’ kicking game should continue to be great.
Raiders Still Need an Offensive Coordinator
With the Raiders locking up defensive and special teams coordinators, there’s one more big opening on the coaching staff. McDaniels will likely be calling plays and implementing his offense but the plan still appears for him to employ an offensive coordinator. According to Zac Jackson of The Athletic, the Raiders recently put in a request to interview Cleveland Browns tight ends coach Drew Petzing for the offensive coordinator opening.
Petzing is only 34-years-old but is an up-and-coming coach in the NFL. Landing with the Raiders under McDaniels would be a great move for him. When Jon Gruden took over the team in 2018, he hired a veteran offensive coordinator in Greg Olson. It appears that McDaniels would prefer to hire a young mind that he can help develop. That could be a wise move by the coach but time will tell who he ends up hiring. Whoever the Raiders hire will need to understand that McDaniels is in charge of the offense. Hiring an up-and-comer who isn’t quite ready to lead an offense on his own would be a smart move.