The Las Vegas Raiders have completed an undefeated preseason, but tough decisions await head coach Josh McDaniels. Several players turned out to be nice surprises for the Silver and Black, but unfortunately, many won’t be making the final roster as cuts will take place this week as the team prepares for the regular season opener.
There have already been some surprising moves under McDaniels. Most recently, it was Kenyan Drake’s release. The running back rotation was something that McDaniels had spent all offseason cultivating and, in the end, Drake just didn’t fit into it. After a great preseason and an even better week of joint practices, McDaniels will be put to the test during the next round of cuts.
Raiders WR Isaiah Zuber snags the INT 😱
— B/R Gridiron (@brgridiron) August 27, 2022
On offense alone, he’ll need to figure out who will make up his wide receiver corps. Far from an easy call, several receivers showed out in the preseason, all of them trying to stand out. Clearly, they’ve done a praiseworthy job since Demarcus Robinson couldn’t make the roster, a veteran with a championship pedigree. I mean, you have players like Isaiah Zuber making interceptions. Yes, he’s a wide receiver. Who knows, maybe McDaniels has found his own Troy Brown.
Who is Josh McDaniels going to keep?
In all seriousness, though, McDaniels isn’t taking this responsibility lightly and admitted he’s not exactly looking forward to this upcoming part of his job.
“I would rephrase that, not looking to cut anybody. Like I said before, you’d love to keep all of them. The effort, attitude, and the work that they’ve all put in. I’m so appreciative of that. Our staff has done a tremendous job of developing these guys. We’re going to keep as many as we can, that’s what we’re going to do. Like I said those are tough decisions, tough conversations. Our players understand that but, they didn’t lack for effort, or execution. They’re trying to do everything they can to help us and help themselves at the same time. I thought our group did that for the most part.”
Players understand that it’s all business in the NFL. McDaniels’ decision won’t be personal, and just as he said, he’d like to keep as many as he can. Several players have stood out in recent weeks. Just look at Sam Webb, Luke Masterson, and DJ Turner, among others, who have thoroughly impressed in the preseason. The scary prospect of all this is that these are fringe players, on the roster bubble. It goes to show you how loaded the roster is right now, more so on offense, but still. In the end, McDaniels’ players did what was asked of them and then some. This week will be filled with challenging days at work for the new coach.
*Top Photo: Official Raiders Website