Las Vegas Raiders: Josh McDaniels entering crucial Year 2 as head coach

San Francisco 49ers v Las Vegas Raiders
San Francisco 49ers v Las Vegas Raiders / Ethan Miller/GettyImages

The Las Vegas Raiders brought in Josh McDaniels as head coach to turn them into a perennial power in the AFC, but so far, he has been underwhelming in the role.

After making it to the playoffs following the 2021 NFL season, the arrow was certainly pointing upward in terms of the Las Vegas Raiders franchise. The team had navigated a season of turmoil, tragedies, and question marks, all the while banding together and earning a Wild Card spot under interim head coach Rich Bisaccia.

However, the team decided to move on from Bisaccia at the end of the season, and brought in some former New England Patriots to keep the ball rolling. General manager Dave Ziegler and head coach Josh McDaniels came to the organization with a lot of hoopla, a feeling that was exacerbated when the team traded for Davante Adams.

Despite the efforts to win-now, Las Vegas struggled in the first season under McDaniels, winning only six games, and since then, they have begun to restructure the roster. Las Vegas released quarterback Derek Carr, traded away Darren Waller, and appear to be more in rebuild-mode, than a team looking to make the playoffs next season.

For head coach Josh McDaniels, those are dangerous waters to swim in.

Raiders Josh McDaniels looking to avoid same fate

In his first go-around as an NFL head coach, McDaniels got off to a blazing start in Denver, winning his first six games before the bye week. However, after the bye week, things went downhill in a hurry, as the Broncos won two more games the rest of the way, and finished on the outside looking in at the playoffs.

In all fairness to McDaniels, that Denver team was led by Kyle Orton at quarterback, and his only real weapon in the passing game was Brandon Marshall. Still, the defense was more than good enough to make the playoffs, as Elvis Dumervil had 17 sacks that season, and DJ Williams alongside an ageless Brian Dawkins each racked up over 100 tackles.

Still, it was a bad end to the season, and when the 2010 campaign kicked off, McDaniels did not do enough to keep his job. The young head coach was fired mid-season, and after a year in St. Louis as the offensive coordinator, he went back to New England, where he was until getting the Raiders job last offseason.

In order for McDaniels to keep his job in Las Vegas, better results have to come in a hurry in 2023, as Mark Davis is getting tired of a losing product on the field at his brand new stadium. McDaniels has brought in his own guys, and moved on from those he felt were not right for the system, and hopefully, he gets it right this time around.

If he doesn't improve in Year 2, a similar fate as the one he had in Denver awaits him.

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