If Raider Nation is down right now, one can only imagine the atmosphere around the Las Vegas Raiders’ locker room. There’s plenty of blame to go around, from the organization’s highest peaks down to the players on the bench. There are a bevy of issues that are hindering the Silver and Black, but what if it’s a matter of pushing through an adjustment period? That would bode well for the Raiders, but how soon can everyone adjust to all of the changes brought on by a regime shift?
The issues with the Las Vegas Raiders are complex, they’ll take time to fix.
When Josh McDaniels and Dave Ziegler were brought in by owner Mark Davis, it marked a monumental shift in team philosophy and operations. The problem is that their first step was to undo the damage done by the previous administration. Let’s be blunt, other than a few mid-round steals (and Kolton Miller), Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock did a horrendous job filling out the Raiders’ roster. That alone is crippling the team currently. There’s a broad lack of depth all throughout key positions. That’s especially true for the offensive line and defense. Be that as it may, the new duo isn’t using it as an excuse; rather, Ziegler went to work trying to fill out the roster as best he could. He got rid of several bloated contracts and got the team to a safe financial state simultaneously.
The backend changes notwithstanding, the change in philosophy has also proven to be an obstacle. At the same time, like anything else, something that’s “worth it” doesn’t come easily. The Raiders’ offense is seeing a transition under McDaniels, and clearly, the unit as a whole is seeing the effects of that transition. Gone are Gruden, Greg Olson, and Rich Bisaccia. This is McDaniel’s offense now. Everyone is pointing to the team making the playoffs last year with much of the current roster, but that doesn’t erase the problems that under Gruden and Co. existed beneath the surface. Unfortunately, those growing pains are being amplified under this shift with McDaniels at the helm.
Aaron Wilson of Pro Football Network recently ran a piece in which anonymous league sources went on record speaking on the Raiders’ struggles. One of them mentioned that the team is still adjusting to everything, “This is an adjustment period, Josh is showing people how he wants things done. Rome wasn’t built in a day. When they have success, once they start winning, people are going to jump on the bandwagon. Watch and see.”
As far as the bandwagon comment goes, that’s accurate. The Raiders are a polarizing team. When they’re doing well, you have fans, media, and pundits jumping to praise them. Likewise, when they struggle, it becomes the popular thing to pile on. Look, McDaniels came in with a vision. He made that clear as soon as he was introduced. This whole operation is taking time to come together. Anyone who saw this team from an objective lens could’ve told you that. Was 0-3 the predicted start? Doubtful. Despite the record, the ship can still be rectified. Maybe a closed-door meeting between coach and owner along with a player-only meeting will help. We’ll have to wait and see on Sunday.
*Top Photo: Lucas Peltier-USA TODAY Sports