The Las Vegas Raiders have revamped their leadership, bringing in a duo in David Ziegler and Josh McDaniels that could be just what they need.
There is a new sense of optimism surrounding the Las Vegas Raiders these days. Coming off the franchise’s second playoff berth in 19 years after a tumultuous season, it was clear the team was heading in the right direction.
However, there was still the question of who the head coach will be in 2022. While many players clamored for Owner Mark Davis to remove the interim tag from Rich Bisaccia’s title and many fans had dreams of Jim Harbaugh, Davis ultimately chose New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels as the team’s new head coach.
While Bisaccia worked magic and navigated a season very few teams could have, he had limitations. Bisaccia was very conservative. He often failed to make personnel decisions when needed, had poor clock management, and had game-planning deficiencies, as he was often outcoached.
However, Bisaccia set the culture and led the team, things that cannot be discounted. Bisaccia proved to be a leader of men who motivated his players and proved to be a coach that players responded to. Bisaccia proved he was the man for that job. However, he was not the man for the full-time job.
Raiders can raise the ceiling with McDaniels
While Bisaccia was able to raise the floor of the team, McDaniels can raise the ceiling. McDaniels is a true offensive mastermind who has structured his offense around three different quarterbacks over the past three seasons.
He’s spearheaded a Patriots offense that always ranked near the top of the NFL. McDaniels has shown the ability to get the best out of his players and put them in the right spot. While Raiders stars such as Josh Jacobs, Darren Waller, and Hunter Renfrow have performed admirably and proved to be top weapons, it’s the team’s other players who will benefit from McDaniels arrival.
McDaniels will gamelan around the weak offensive line like Greg Olson couldn’t. Bryan Edwards, Kenyan Drake, Foster Moreau, and Alec Ingold will benefit from McDaniels. He will draw up plays that highlight their unique abilities and could help them blossom.
McDaniels has already emphasized his desire to run more two tight end sets and utilize more play-action, a concept the Raiders benefited off of heavily last season but ran very few. McDaniels also used a fullback a ton in New England and Ingold should benefit from more looks. Greg Olson has proved to be a solid NFL offensive coordinator but many times got too predictable.
While Bisaccia may not have kept Olson, superstar offensive minds like McDaniels don’t come along as lateral moves. Bisaccia would have had to keep Olson, hire another retread, or go with an unproven candidate. Bisaccia is a great leader and special teams coach, but not a great game planner.
Measurements are in, and it is time for the players to hit the field for Senior Bowl week and the Las Vegas Raiders to begin their draft season evaluations.
McDaniels coming along with David Ziegler should provide some checks and balances. Gruden and former Raiders GM Mike Mayock worked in tandem, but Gruden had the final say. Ziegler and McDaniels have been together dating back to college and will work together on personnel moves. There will be real conversations. The Raiders will be run like a modern franchise rather than one with an overarching decision-maker. Mark Davis found a way to elevate his franchise and took it.