Raiders HC Josh McDaniels & Mark Davis

Raiders HC Josh McDaniels Won’t Be on Hot Seat in ’23, But Must Show Growth

Among Las Vegas Raiders fans, opinions on Josh McDaniels vary widely, with some harboring deep animosity. Still, others remain uncertain about his potential as a head coach. With the ongoing Josh Jacobs saga and tepid excitement over quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo’s recent arrival, concerns surround McDaniels’ leadership and the decision to switch quarterbacks.

His previous short and disastrous stint in Denver still haunts him. Unfortunately, that is overshadowing his reputation as an innovative offensive mind developed during his tenure with Bill Belichick and Tom Brady in New England. Although the win-loss record won’t solely determine his fate in 2023 due to the team’s roster rebuild, McDaniels’ future largely hinges on the outcome of his quarterback gamble with Garoppolo.

Josh McDaniels’ Offensive Strategy

McDaniels is renowned for his system-oriented offense. It emphasizes a high-percentage passing game and a multifaceted ground attack. However, relying on Garoppolo as a system quarterback comes with serious injury concerns. It could potentially force the Raiders to lean on backup Brian Hoyer. Utilizing the running back-by-committee approach, a successful strategy during McDaniels’ New England days, will be essential. More so due to the uncertainty surrounding Josh Jacobs’ future.

Incorporating tight ends as key offensive components will also play a pivotal role. Despite trading Darren Waller, McDaniels must leverage this approach with Garoppolo’s preference for targeting the middle of the field. Capitalizing on the unique skill sets of offensive stars like Davante Adams, Jakobi Meyers, and Hunter Renfrow will be essential to creating a dynamic and unpredictable offense.

Impact of Jimmy Garoppolo’s Injury History

Garoppolo’s injury history poses a significant obstacle for McDaniels. His availability and durability will be crucial to the Raiders’ success. McDaniels must develop a flexible game plan that accounts for Garoppolo’s strengths and potential backups. Garoppolo’s efficiency, while not comparable to that of his former mentor Tom Brady, is still impressive, making him a pivotal piece in McDaniels’ offensive scheme.

Holding Leads

The Raiders’ struggles with holding leads in the 2022 season emerged as a major concern under McDaniels’ coaching. Blowing leads of 17 or more points three times and losing nine of their 11 losses within one possession hurt the team’s season, playoff hopes, and morale.

To succeed, McDaniels must address this issue head-on by emphasizing situational football and making strategic adjustments during critical moments.

The Road Ahead

McDaniels’ reputation as an offensive genius offers great promise for the Las Vegas Raiders, but the promise has yet to materialize. Success will depend on capitalizing on his system-oriented approach, utilizing the roster’s talents, and addressing challenges related to Garoppolo’s injuries.

Holding leads and building strong player-coach relationships will be pivotal for the team’s overall growth and success. Fans and the franchise are hopeful for McDaniels’ triumph, but addressing these concerns is vital for the Raiders’ long-term success.

As the 2023 season unfolds, achieving success will depend on McDaniels’ ability to overcome challenges and deliver results. Although he is not officially on the hot seat in 2023, how he performs and how the team responds to him could determine his security heading into 2024.

Scott Gulbransen is the executive producer and host of Silver and Black Today – an Audacy original Raiders podcast and host of the radio show of the same name on 98.5 The Best in Las Vegas. Follow him on Twitter at @LVGully.

*Top Photo: Sporting News/Getty Images

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