Josh McDaniels‘ leadership style became a lightning rod in Denver, helping lead to the successful New England OC’s second-season firing. Although ESPN.com’s Dan Graziano notes McDaniels’ Raiders situation did not feature a personality conflict on that level, a number of issues arose near the end of his 25-game Las Vegas tenure. While McDaniels’ style this time around was viewed as a bit more empathetic, Graziano colleague Jeremy Fowler notes the same traits that keyed the early wrap in Denver — people skills and a flawed culture — resurfaced in Nevada. This Patriot Way model led to quickly eroded trust, with the quarterback situation being the main part of McDaniels’ plan not resonating with players.
The team’s move from Derek Carr to Jimmy Garoppolo produced warning signs, but the McDaniels- and Dave Ziegler-handpicked veteran’s immobility and erratic play (NFL-high nine interceptions, despite two missed starts) led to some in the Raiders’ building believing Aidan O’Connell should have replaced the veteran starter earlier than he did, Fowler adds. Had the Raiders turned one of their several visits with early-round draft prospects into a selection, perhaps McDaniels would have been given more time to groom that player. With the team waiting until the final pick of the fourth round to take its quarterback, it is quite possible the team’s passer of the future is not on the roster. This being the case certainly interfered with McDaniels displaying his vision to the team.
Here is the latest from the AFC West:
- In what should not be especially surprising, Fowler adds some around the league believe Brandon Staley will need a winning effort to stave off a post-season three firing. Some viewed Staley as a candidate to be dropped after the Chargers‘ 27-point collapse in last year’s wild-card round, which came after Mike Williams suffered an injury in a meaningless Week 18 game. But GM Tom Telesco backed his HC for a third season. Again without Williams, the Bolts are 4-4. After Sean Payton was repeatedly connected to this job in 2022, the Bolts would obviously need to look elsewhere to replace Staley — if they choose to take that route — next year.
- Last week’s USC-Washington game naturally attracted NFL personnel, but ESPN.com’s Pete Thamel notes both Broncos GM George Paton and Giants GM Joe Schoen were on-hand in a game that featured likely 2024 quarterback draftees Caleb Williams and Michael Penix. Both the Broncos…