Wednesday, December 7

Raiders hire Patriots OC Josh McDaniels as head coach, Dave Ziegler as general manager

The Las Vegas Raiders are expected to hire New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels as their new head coach, NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport reported Sunday. The two parties are currently finalizing an agreement.

McDaniels emerged as the leading candidate for the job before meeting with Raiders officials this weekend. Rapoport reported that McDaniels had a positive dinner with team president Dan Ventrelle on Friday night and met with owner Mark Davis on Saturday.

The veteran Patriots OC will join fellow ex-Patriot Dave Ziegler in Las Vegas as the Raiders’ next general manager, Rapoport and NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo and Tom Pelissero reported on Sunday. The Patriots’ former director of player personnel is considered an ideal partner for McDaniels’ front office, according to Rapoport.

McDaniels has been walking Patriot Way for the better part of two decades. He was involved in all six of their Super Bowl titles, serving as offensive coordinator from 2005-2008 and 2012-2021. Last season, he guided quarterback Mac Jones through an impressive rookie year, as the Pats returned to the postseason while their offense recovered to sixth in scoring.

In Las Vegas, the 45-year-old McDaniels inherits another 2021 wild-card team that persevered through tragedy and turmoil off the field. In the span of four weeks mid-season, coach Jon Gruden resigned after the Wall Street Journal and The New York Times published articles detailing Gruden’s use of racist, homophobic, and misogynistic terms in emails; former trustee Henry Ruggs III was released following his arrest on multiple felony charges related to his role in a traffic collision that resulted in the death of a young woman; and cornerback Damon Arnette was released after a series of off-the-field incidents, including a viral video in which Arnette brandished a gun and threatened to kill someone.

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Special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia was named interim coach in October and led the Raiders on an inspired run to Super Wild Card Weekend, where they lost in the last minute to the Cincinnati Bengals. Las Vegas finished the season 10-7 (7-5 ​​with Bisaccia) and appeared in the playoffs for the first time in five seasons. The Raiders haven’t won a postseason game since reaching the Super Bowl in 2002, speeding through nine permanent head coaches in the process.

Following the Raiders’ recent wild-card loss, Rapoport reported that franchise quarterback Derek Carr’s future would likely be tied to the head coach’s hiring. The three-time Pro Bowler is coming off possibly the best season of his career, but he only has one year left on his contract and he doesn’t have a dead cap in 2022.

The Raiders are technically McDaniels’ third foray as head coach, though he previously only worked in that capacity with the Denver Broncos. In 2018, he took the job with the Indianapolis Colts before retiring from the job the same day he was announced and rejoining the Pats.

In 2009, Denver named McDaniels their head coach at just 32 years old. His tenure lasted less than two seasons and he moved up to an 11-17 record. He spent 2011 as the offensive coordinator for the St. Louis Rams before returning to New England the following year.

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