Las Vegas Raiders HC Josh McDaniels

Stop The Cap – Maybe Josh McDaniels Was Right About Needing A Change

No one was more vocal in their support of Derek Carr when the Dave Ziegler-Josh McDaniels regime began in Las Vegas than McDaniels himself. Despite saying all the right things in front of a camera and microphone, it was painfully obvious something was not right within the Raiders organization.

Las Vegas Raiders: The Unfiltered Truth

Q. Meyers, host of the Locked On Raiders podcast, received some information from trusted sources about how things used to run in training camps under Jon Gruden. On his Podcast, he implied quarterback Derek Carr’s confidence and fortitude were so easily shakeable that defenders were told not to pick him off in camp practice. Additionally, Carr lived in a red jersey, meaning he is off-limits; don’t touch.

There is an expression: “Practice makes perfect.” Professional athletes are creatures of habit. Unfortunately for the defense, they may have been forced into practicing bad habits.

Gruden had a lifetime supply of passes to give Carr. Whether it was because they were neighbors or because Carr was just his guy, Gruden allegedly never criticized him in front of his teammates. The former Raiders head coach gave the impression Carr could do no wrong, even choosing him over Tom Brady the year he won the Super Bowl in Tampa Bay.

Perhaps that is what made the relationship between Carr and Josh McDaniels destined to fail. The New England Patriots, the most successful franchise in the last 20 years, have won with the code, “Do your job.”

Not getting it done

Former Raiders linebacker, Super Bowl champion, and Legion of Boom member K.J. Wright had harsh criticism of Carr’s career. While expressing his affection and admiration for Carr, the man, he categorized his career as mediocre. Wright even went as far as hypothesizing the reason for the split between Carr and McDaniels is that after nine years in Las Vegas and Oakland, he just didn’t win enough.

Just Win Baby is not the same as just doing your best. In a ‘what have you done for me lately’ league, no job is safe from underproduction. The NFL Top 100 list has been unveiled, and it doesn’t have Carr’s name on it anywhere. What’s more indicative of the poor season he had is the fact that Davante Adams and Josh Jacobs were voted the 13th and 12th best players in the league, respectively.

Analysts, fans, and talk-show hosts have been quick to point the finger at Josh McDaniels, citing what happened in Denver during his brief stint with the Broncos and drawing comparisons. But what happened in 2022 was more than just the fault of the Raiders head coach.

One of the guys

The vibe and mood in training camp appear to have changed for the better. Leaders step up when they are needed most, and multiple players are answering the call. Football is the ultimate team sport, and no one person is above the team. At least, not on any successful team.

Praise has been in abundance and freely flowing when describing Jimmy Garoppolo. Garoppolo is a true leader, at least that’s what his former teammates say about the now-Raiders quarterback. Is he perfect? The answer would be no. But to a man on any football team he’s played for, he has their respect. Why? Because earning it is a priority for him, not just because the position demands it.

Being a great teammate isn’t the same as being one of the guys. The guys hold each other accountable, they battle together and win. That is the current vibe coming out of training camp.

*Top Photo: Jeff Bottari/Getty Images

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