Broke as a joke. Now, we’re not going to go that far, but that seems to be the general consensus when it comes to Mark Davis. The Las Vegas Raiders owner had himself quite the week, with his bank account being questioned as the fervor to dismiss his head coach became volcanic after an abysmal 25-20 defeat to the Indianapolis Colts last Sunday.
Instead of going scorched earth with a clean and sweep — something that Davis would’ve been well within his power as owner to do — the Raiders are staying the course with Josh McDaniels and his crew. There was no dismissal and no adjustment to the staff or personnel department. Davis trusts McDaniels and general manager Dave Ziegler to go about their business.
“As far as Josh goes, I have no issues,” Davis told Ed Graney of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “I’m getting to know him a lot better. When you sign someone to a contract, don’t you expect him to fulfill the contract? I like Josh. I think he’s doing a fantastic job. You have to look at where we came from and where we’re going.”
Raiders HC Josh McDaniels isn’t going anywhere
We knew quickly where the talking heads would go: Davis’s finances. After Davis gave the head coach of his 2-7 Raiders a vote of confidence, the reasons as to why were rampant. One of them was the L.A. Times’ Bill Plaschke on ESPN’s Around the Horn TV show.
“I’m saying right now: Josh McDaniels will be the coach this year and next year. The Raiders don’t have the money to fire him, to pay him off,” Plaschke said. “They’re cash poor.”
Ah, cash-poor! I had no idea that the grizzled journalist, Bill, has direct access to Davis’s bank account to confirm. Such investigative journalism, folks.
Is a man who is building a reported $14 million mansion in Vegas cash poor? (“Davis’s new 15,046-square-foot mega-mansion will be a three-level, five-bedroom, ten-bathroom valued at $14 million, according to city permit records obtained by The Post” — those are the details from the New York Post piece on Davis’s new digs). Not only that, but Davis had enough liquid assets to purchase the WNBA’s Las Vegas Aces. Davis may be a lot of things, but “cash poor” isn’t one of them — not any longer — with the Raiders franchise exponentially growing in value.
Yeah, I don't buy it. This is always the excuse. Mark Davis can afford to buy a WNBA title, build a new stadium in Vegas, and give out a bunch of hefty contacts, but can't buy out and replace a head coach? C'mon. https://t.co/PMyPIM9WYw
— Dalton Blackman (@blackman_dalton) November 16, 2022
Remember, Davis hasn’t been one hesitant to yank away the head coaching gig, either. This man made the cold-blooded move of having Jack Del Rio announce his dismissal at a postgame press conference.
People once underestimated the Bowl Cut Kid when it came to the move from Oakland to Las Vegas, but alas.
Luck of theÂ Draw?
At 2-7, the Raiders have fallen well short of lofty expectations. After all, the team was a playoff squad last season. But such is life in the NFL. Success can be fleeting, and even the defending Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams are having an epic hangover (3-6).
Asked to shed light on how the team could have such a steep fall, Las Vegas quarterback Derek Carr provided this:
“It’s hard. You’ve got to think about it schematically; the schemes are different, right?” Carr said. “So, you’re taking different players and putting them in different schemes. We had to get new players for certain schemes and things like that. As much as we want to compare, there’s a lot of carryover because these coaches thought we could fit their schemes, right? From leaders and things like that. And we play well for them, and we’re doing those things better. But some of the key players and things like that are different. And so, this is just a different team.”
When a team goes from a postseason group to a raggamuffin squad like the Raiders, questions and rumors come naturally. A struggling team may mean an ax falls on a coach and there’s upheaval. From Davis having to fire McDaniels to the current players hate McDaniels, to former Denver Broncos who speak of McDaniels in low light, it’s open season.
Either Carr is being completely honest, or he’s a snake oil salesman, when he says this:
“But I think the owner said it bestâ€”it’s not built in just one day. It really isn’t. And what his belief is, and what Josh (McDaniels) and Dave’s (Ziegler) belief is. There’s no denying their success,” Carr noted. “There’s no denying what they’ve been able to do. He’s not in here beating us over the head every day or anything like that. He’s super positive; he’s encouraging, but he corrects us; he’s disciplined; and he does all the things that you would love in a coach.”
Ditto for wide receiver Raiders WR Davante Adams
“When you look at the history of this place, I don’t think a playoff game has been won in over 20 years here,” Adams said. “There’s no magic coach that’s going to come in and change that, and I think that Josh (McDaniels) is doing a great job, and he does deserve that in my mind.”
If the Raiders want to get back in the win column — and not cement themselves as a Top 3 draft pick type group — they’ll have to execute against the Denver Broncos. The horsemen allow the least number of points while simultaneously scoring the least number of points in the league. Yes, the Raiders did beat the Broncos earlier in the season; however, Las Vegas is 0-5 on the road this season.
It’s time for players to execute properly on offense and defense. (The special team’s units are doing their jobs.)
“They’re not calling a play that they think that the defense is going to stop us on,” Adams said of McDaniels’ offensive play calling. “So, at the end of the day, they’re calling the best play that they think is going to work, and then we’ve got to go out there and execute it. Everybody’s got a responsibility, but I’d much rather put the burden on myself because I can control that. I can’t control what the coach is doing or what another player is doing.
“If everybody puts that burden on themselves and it means enough to them to do that, then I feel like that’s when you have a really successful team.”
*Top Photo: Golden Gate Sports