Raiders: Here’s what Josh McDaniels’s hire does for Derek Carr

BUFFALO, NY - OCTOBER 29: Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots listens to offensive coordinator & quarterbacks coach Josh McDaniels. Raiders - (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
BUFFALO, NY - OCTOBER 29: Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots listens to offensive coordinator & quarterbacks coach Josh McDaniels. Raiders - (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /

The Las Vegas Raiders are off to a hot start in the 2022 offseason. They’ve replaced Mike Mayock with Dave Ziegler in the general manager position, Gus Bradley with Patrick Graham in the defensive coordinator role, and made one of the biggest splashes in the head coaching arena by replacing interim coach Rich Bisaccia for former Patriots’ OC Josh McDaniels.

The Raiders suffered an abrupt halt to their 2021 season, but they have it the ground running almost immediately to ensure postseason appearances are the standard rather than the exception. I really like the hire for Derek Carr‘s sake, but it is fair to say Josh McDaniels has a shaky past in the head coaching department.

He’s 11-17 as a head coach in the NFL, and even got let go mid-season by the Broncos after a 3-9 start in 2010. He also flaked out on Indianapolis after accepting the job in 2018, perhaps luckily for the Colts and now Raiders, to return to where most of us know him primarily from in New England as a Bill Belichick disciple.

Indy obviously felt McDaniels deserved a second chance at that time, and I do not know the Colts to make many managerial mistakes these days.

Now the Raiders are the lucky team to land one of the most prized head coaching candidates in the last four years. McDaniels has finally shed the Belichick cloak and has returned to the arena he once failed so miserably in. Props to him, and one could only hope this is what the Raiders need to finally turn things around.

What new Raiders HC means to Derek Carr

What McDaniels’s hire does, in addition to upgrading the offensive playbook, is it extends the timer on Derek Carr as the Raiders’ starting quarterback.

Something I believe not many people realize.

Derek is coming off a career year in passing yards (4,804), passing yards per game (282.6), completions (428), and attempts (626). He worked his tail off this year to keep the ship afloat having an anemic running game, having to work without his number one target for a good portion of the year, playing behind a young O-line, and losing his head coach and biggest deep threat mid-season.

Unfortunately, he also posted a career-high in interceptions (14) and the third-lowest TD% in his career (3.7). 2019 and 2020 were strong statistical years for Carr, yet this season he posted a worse passer rating (94) and QBR (52.4) despite finally breaking through into the playoffs for the first time since 2016.

Derek just continues to be a statistically-decent quarterback that is still trying to break through the other side to the realm of the elite.

Had the Raiders kept going with Bisaccia, or brought in a defensive-minded head coach, perhaps the clock on Carr might have struck midnight and a Russell Wilson, Deshaun Watson, or Jimmy Garoppolo could have slid into Vegas.

But since it is Josh McDaniels, who has a known history of working with quarterbacks, Derek should be given another chance to prove he is the guy Raider fans desperately want him to be.

If I know Derek like I think I do, it would not surprise me one iota if he were to have another half-impressive/half-unimpressive year that once again leaves Raider Nation with more questions than answers. But then again, perhaps McDaniels is truly the guy Derek needs to put him over the top.

I’m ready to roll with Derek another year in the black and silver, and I think Josh McDaniels is really going to do a nice job for this team, as well as helping Derek finally hit his ceiling.

He was in Tom Brady’s ear for 11 years and helped make Mac Jones look like a carbon copy of the G.O.A.T. at times this past season. Derek has the talent, he’s got the right attitude for a guy like McDaniels, and now he’s got an organization with some actual direction behind him.

2022 could very well pan out to be a major triumph for this Raiders team.