Raiders GM Dave Ziegler 'Really Impressed' with Josh McDaniels Despite 2-5 Start

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVNovember 2, 2022

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - OCTOBER 30: Head coach Josh McDaniels of the Las Vegas Raiders takes to the field before a game against the New Orleans Saints at Caesars Superdome on October 30, 2022 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Sean Gardner/Getty Images

Although the Las Vegas Raiders are off to a disappointing 2-5 start this season, general manager Dave Ziegler's confidence in head coach Josh McDaniels is not wavering.

According to Vic Tafur of The Athletic, Ziegler said Wednesday that he has been "really impressed" with the job McDaniels has done, adding: "At 2-5, your leadership gets tested, and I have been really impressed with how he's handled that."

Ziegler also told Tafur that he is happy with the development and improvement of several players under McDaniels, including running back Josh Jacobs and wide receiver Mack Hollins, among others.

Despite going through the turmoil of firing head coach Jon Gruden and replacing him with Rich Bisaccia on an interim basis last season, the Raiders managed to go 10-7 and reach the playoffs for the first time since 2016 and only the second time since 2002.

That seemingly gave Bisaccia a strong case to land the full-time job, but the Raiders instead opted to overhaul the power structure.

The Raiders turned to the New England Patriots by hiring longtime Patriots executive Ziegler as their GM and longtime Patriots offensive coordinator McDaniels as their head coach.

Both McDaniels and Ziegler enjoyed a ton of success during their time in New England, with McDaniels winning six Super Bowls and Ziegler winning three.

Before they were both employed by the Pats, McDaniels and Ziegler spent a short amount of time together in the Denver Broncos organization as well. McDaniels was the Broncos' head coach for parts of two seasons in 2009 and 2010, while Ziegler was Denver's player personnel assistant in 2010.

The Broncos job was McDaniels' first opportunity to be an NFL head coach, and it didn't go particularly well, as he went 8-8 in the first season, and was then fired after a 3-9 start in 2010.

Just two years later, McDaniels was back in New England as the OC under head coach Bill Belichick, and he reprised his role as the one calling the plays for quarterback Tom Brady.

McDaniels reached great heights alongside Belichick and Brady, but that same level of success has eluded him at his other stops thus far.

It is still early in his tenure with the Raiders, but Las Vegas was heralded as a potential Super Bowl contender in the AFC entering the season thanks to big-time additions like wide receiver Davante Adams and pass-rusher Chandler Jones.

While Jacobs has experienced a resurgent season under McDaniels, quarterback Derek Carr has perhaps taken a step back, and the Raiders are only a middle-of-the-pack team offensively, ranking 16th in total yardage and 12th in scoring.

Meanwhile, their defense has been disastrous, ranking 25th in both yardage allowed and points allowed.

McDaniels has yet to prove he can get the job done as an NFL head coach, but given Ziegler's comments, it seems unlikely that any changes are imminent.