Raiders HC Josh McDaniels & Mark Davis

How “Hot” Will Raiders HC Josh McDaniels’ Seat Be In Year 2?

It’s no secret that the Las Vegas Raiders had a pretty disappointing and disastrous season in 2022. Las Vegas underachieved in virtually every aspect, dealing many gut-punches to the fan base throughout the season. The era under Josh McDaniels is far from ruined, but it hasn’t gotten off to the best start. McDaniels couldn’t make it to the end of his second season during his first coaching stint. If the Raiders come out of the gate slowly this year, history may repeat itself.

At the moment, though, just how hot is Josh McDaniels’ seat? What could impact his job security?

What we know heading into Year 2

Well, first, we know that the Raiders horribly underachieved in their first year under Josh McDaniels. Las Vegas was 10-7 in 2021 and made the playoffs as the fifth seed. The very next year, after losing zero major players and making two huge additions, Las Vegas somehow went 6-11.

A 6–11 team might seem to be simply not good at football. There were indeed a lot of things the Raiders were just not good at last year. Still, four of Las Vegas’ losses came to teams that they were beating by at least 17 at one point. If all four of those games ended in wins, as they should have, the Raiders would have repeated their 10-7 record. Under that mindset, the Raiders definitely underperformed.

Now, Josh has some decisions to make. McDaniels has already made the decision to move on from Carr. Considering Carr’s play and contract, this is a solid decision. However, McDaniels has now set himself up in a tricky situation.

Josh McDaniels’ next quarterback

One of the things McDaniels’ job security will absolutely depend on is the quarterback he decides to bring in. Since Josh’s first year has come and gone and one quarterback is out the door, there is no time to waste.

This could work out in a couple of ways. First, if the new guy he brings in turns out to be a star, McDaniels immediately gets a longer leash. Second, if the decision completely flops, McDaniels’ clock starts to tick a bit faster. And finally, if the Raiders elect to draft a quarterback, his development might cause a bit of confusion regarding all of this. For example, if the quarterback isn’t great but good enough to earn a second year, then McDaniels may keep his job for the quarterback’s development alone.

Trade market and keep the locker room

Recently, Jeremy Fowler from ESPN reported that the Raiders may be very aggressive in the trade market this offseason. Fowler mentioned that McDaniels would want “his own guys.” This becomes a very slippery slope for Josh.

The Raiders have a very close-knit locker room, and the core of this team has been together for a long time. Fowler claimed that teams will be keeping an eye on Waller and Renfrow. Two guys on big contracts getting traded after a six-win season isn’t unheard of. It might even be common. Still, in the locker room, relationships between players complicate the business aspect that is enforced even more in the offseason.

McDaniels and Co. absolutely should make some trades this offseason. It’s obvious that some changes need to be made to the roster. If some of these moves don’t pay off, though, and McDaniels loses the locker room, his leash becomes a lot shorter.

NFL Draft: Josh McDaniels & the Raiders need difference-makers

Finally, once the end of April rolls around, Josh and Ziegler will have to nail the draft. Along with Dave Ziegler, the two did a pretty solid job in their first draft cycle together. Now, Las Vegas will have a first- and second-round pick, something they didn’t have last year. With the No. 7 overall pick, the draft is a great chance for McDaniels to make his seat a bit cooler.

*Top Photo: Sporting News/Getty Images

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