New Raiders coach McDaniels hoping for a successful 2nd stint | Radio WGN 720
When Josh McDaniels was hired for his first head coaching job in Denver at the precocious age of 32, he crumbled almost immediately because he now realizes he didn’t really know what the work involved.
The experience with the Broncos that ended with him being fired before the end of his second season humbled McDaniels, who then returned and spent another decade as coordinator.
Now, 13 years later, he’s ready for his next move as head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders and hopes the lessons he learned back then will lead to more success his second time around.
“When I went to Denver, I knew a little about football,” McDaniels said Monday after being introduced as Raiders coach. “I didn’t really know the people and how important that aspect of that process and maintaining the culture and building the team was. I failed and I did not succeed. Watching that experience was one of the best things in my life in terms of overall growth as a person, as a coach.
After walking away from a 2018 deal to coach Indianapolis after it had already been announced, McDaniels jumped at the chance to coach the Raiders where he will team up with a general manager he has known for decades.
McDaniels and new general manager Dave Ziegler were college teammates at John Carroll University, worked together in Denver, and then again for the past nine years with the Patriots.
That confidence was a factor for McDaniels and Ziegler to take the job and for owner Mark Davis, who in the process set out to replace coach Jon Gruden and general manager Mike Mayock to find a coach-general manager combo. which could work well together.
While McDaniels arrives with the highest profile, Ziegler said he will have the final say on personnel.
“Obviously Josh and I are linked in many ways in our vision of how to build a team and our vision of what we want in terms of the players we bring into the building is very linked,” Ziegler said. . “But ultimately, when it comes time to make personnel decisions, as we work together, those final decisions will be made by me.”
Davis made the switch despite the Raiders making the playoffs for only the second time in the past 19 seasons. Gruden resigned in October after his old offensive emails were published and interim coach Rich Bisaccia led the team to the playoffs where they lost in the wildcard round to Cincinnati.
Davis then fired Mayock after the season and looked for a clean slate to build on the existing foundation. He said this was not a “rebuilding” situation and he believed McDaniels and Ziegler’s experience in New England would help the Raiders take it to the next level.
“I’ve always seen the Patriots as a team that not only adapts week to week or half to half, but maybe even series to series,” Davis said. “I just believe in Josh’s ability to assess a situation and make changes in real time, and that has always impressed me.”
McDaniels is considered one of the brightest offensive minds in the game with his many years working with Tom Brady on the Patriots and his work this season helping develop rookie Mac Jones.
But his first experience as a head coach quickly fell apart after a 6-0 start in 2009. Denver finished 8-8 that season and McDaniels was fired 3-9 in 2010, losing 17 of his last 22 games as a coach.
McDaniels was also fined $50,000 by the NFL for failing to report that the team’s director of video operations videotaped a San Francisco 49ers practice before the teams played a game in 2010 in London. The investigation determined that McDaniels was unaware of the taping in advance and refused to see it, but he was punished for not immediately reporting the violation to the league.
McDaniels takes over a team that has several key pieces in place, including quarterback Derek Carr, who is entering the final year of his contract. The new regime will have to decide whether to extend Carr’s contract and build around him, trade him for draft picks, or push back a decision until the end of the 2022 season.
“I think the one thing that we all understand is that there’s going to be a process where we teach Derek, Derek teaches us and puts all these pieces together,” Ziegler said. “I think the first step is to build the relationship, to understand what Derek does well. Derek understands what Josh and the offensive staff are trying to build, and I think as that collaboration goes on, you see kind of how it all fits in. You have to see how it all fits together and the kind of work from there.
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