Raiders embrace culture shift with the hiring of Josh McDaniels and Dave Z
Proper leadership is an essential part to any franchise and the Raiders officially began the Dave Ziegler and Josh McDaniels era on Monday. The two men have been connected lockstep their entire professional careers. Winning three Super Bowls as members of the New England Patriots organization. Their relationship began at John Carroll University where the two men were college teammates. After college, both men made their transition into the NFL, working with the New England Patriots and the Denver Broncos together.
Ziegler got his start working for the Pats scouting department for nine years. In 2021, Ziegler served as the de facto GM for the Patriots where in his first year making executive decisions he found the Patriots their franchise quarterback in Mac Jones and future pro bowl defensive tackle Christian Barmore. As far as Raiders new Head Coach Josh McDaniels the elephant in the room was his early failures as theBroncos coach. McDaniels was initially the youngest head coach that had been hired being just 32 years of age. That experience with the Broncos ended with his firing before the end of his second season. McDaniels often mentions how that experience humbled him. McDaniels went back and spent another decade as a coordinator. Now 13 years later, he’s ready for his next shot as a head coach with the Las Vegas Raiders and hopes the lessons he learned back then lead to more success his second time around. The most important thing for the two new Raider hires is that they have some familiarity with each other together and they have a plan.
"At the end of the day, as the general manager, and as the one leading the charge on the scouting side in personnel in college and pro, that direction will come from me, in terms of construction of the roster," Ziegler said. "Obviously, Josh and I are tied 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. But at the end of the day, when it's time to make decisions of all personnel, while we'll work together, those final decisions will be made by me."
The biggest decision that needs to be made is what will happen to Raiders quarterback Derek Carr. Carr has one year remaining on his existing contract and is coming off a season in which he finished fifth in passing yards (4,804) and 14th in passer rating (94). It was one of Carr's best seasons as a professional and helped the Raiders make an unlikely run to the postseason. Carr got a vote of confidence from McDaniels in the presser which is a positive sign for the organization.
"Derek's won a lot of games in this league and we've competed against each other a number of times," McDaniels said. "I have a lot of respect for him, he's certainly did a good job this year, leading their offense. I spoke with him yesterday, and we had a great conversation. I'm looking forward to actually getting to meet him and get to know him as a person, as a human being and then get to work in terms of developing our offense this year into what it's going to be. But there's no question we have the capacity and capability of winning with Derek here. We all know that."
Raiders offense has amazing potential under McDaniels as he has worked with similar skill set players such as Hunter Renfrow and Darren Waller. Overall, today was a good day in Raider nation as two great forces combined in Raider Nation and Patriot Way. McDaniels even admitted that Brady fumbled. So the start couldn’t be better.