The Las Vegas Raiders are off to an underwhelming start with their 2-5 record, much to the disillusion of Raider Nation. With the team in Florida preparing for the Jacksonville Jaguars, general manager Dave Ziegler made himself available to the media.
Owner Mark Davis hired Ziegler on the heels of the failure that the Mike Mayock era was. Hailed for his scouting prowess during his days with the New England Patriots, most fans were dubious about the prospect of having such a Patriot-heavy influence. However, much of that nervousness was quelled when Ziegler acquired both Davante Adams and Chandler Jones in his first offseason. After a solid draft and what many believed to be a notable offseason, Ziegler had the support of Raiders fans. Now, with the season on the brink and the playoffs becoming less likely, Ziegler has responded to the uneasiness.
Dave Ziegler Remains Confident In This Season
Both Josh McDaniels, the Raiders’ head coach, and Ziegler, the general manager, are known for their close working relationship. Amid the 2-5 start, you have fans and the media outright questioning McDaniels’ abilities. Nevertheless, Ziegler remains firm; he believes that there are just as many positives to take from McDaniels’ first eight weeks on the job. That’s in spite of the obvious struggles that we are all witnessing on the field.
“I’ve been really impressed with the job Josh (McDaniels) has done. At 2-5, your leadership gets tested, and I have been really impressed with how he’s handled that,” said Ziegler as he spoke to the media present in Florida. Vic Tafur of the Athletic followed up his original question with a request for some specific examples. Ziegler went on to name Foster Moreau, Jermaine Eluemunor, Josh Jacobs, Divine Deablo, Tre’von Moehrig, and Andre James as examples. It’s an interesting observation from the general manager. Yes, Josh Jacobs and Andre James have had impressive campaigns so far, but the rest of those examples are dubious at best, especially Moehrig and Eluemunor.
This is a new Raiders regime, like it or not.
Obviously, Raider Nation is anything but optimistic; the frustration is boiling over on social media. However, Ziegler and, as far as we know, McDaniels are neither going anywhere. In fact, Ziegler is cognizant that fans aren’t having it right now, mentioning that “frustration is warranted, but we’re seven games in.”
It’s a tough spot for Ziegler to be in, and in all likelihood, nothing he says is going to go over well. Certainly, he doesn’t want to instill panic. He has a plan and a vision for this team. Despite the bump in the road, this new regime doesn’t dwell on the losses like, say, Al Davis would’ve done. This is clearly a big picture group. I mean, how else can you explain Ziegler coming out to defend a 2-5 start by saying he’s “impressed” with McDaniels? He wasn’t going to throw his coaching staff under the bus, nor was he going to do the same with his players.
In many ways, Ziegler is adept at saying a lot without actually saying anything. That’s akin to a certain coach who’s known for sporting a sleeveless hoodie. Rather than focus on the negativity, Ziegler pointed out what can only be described as progress from where he stands. Raider Nation, whether you like it or not, that will be the norm moving forward. These aren’t Al Davis’ Raiders; no one is getting fired. Well, at least not yet.
*Top Photo: Steve Marcus/Las Vegas Sun
1 thought on “Dave Ziegler Is Impressed With Josh McDaniels’ Leadership 8 Weeks In”
Is this guy for real? What happened to just win!