The Las Vegas Raiders have fired head coach Josh McDaniels and general manager Dave Ziegler, according to a report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Linebackers coach Antonio Pierce will be named the interim head coach, per Schefter.
Schefter stated that owner Mark Davis began informing members of the organization throughout the day on Tuesday. He released a statement, saying, “After much thought about what the Raiders need to move forward, I have decided to part ways with Josh and Dave. I want to thank them both for their hard work and wish them and their families nothing but the best.”
McDaniels reportedly signed a six-year deal when he was hired in 2022. Now, the Raiders are obligated to pay the remaining amount on the deal. Contract terms for Ziegler are unclear, although it is likely the two were mostly aligned with the yearly structure.
Why did the Raiders Fire Josh McDaniels and Dave Ziegler?
Following their 26-14 loss on Monday Night Football to the Detroit Lions, the Raiders fell to 3-5 on the season. McDaniels had received much blame for their poor start, as his in-game decision-making has been called into question week after week. Star players, such as Davante Adams and Josh Jacobs, had become malcontent in Las Vegas.
McDaniels’ seat had gotten considerably warmer after Monday, and he became the leader in the first NFL head coach to be fired odds (+200) at BetOnline.
Despite McDaniels and Ziegler declaring the Raiders as contenders when they took over the franchise in 2022, they have stumbled in all aspects of building the franchise. Their 9-16 record in 25 games did them no favors, especially considering the team had made the playoffs before they arrived.
Many had high hopes for the Raiders when McDaniels and Ziegler took over the franchise. In 2022, they traded first and second-round picks for a then-29-year-old Davante Adams, and then extended him at $28 million per year. With QB Derek Carr under center, they were going all-in on competing with the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC West.
But the Raiders never came close to unseating Patrick Mahomes and Co., finishing 6-11 before using the 2023 offseason to swap out Carr for Jimmy Garoppolo, who worked with McDaniels in New England.
Working outside of Kyle Shanahan’s offensive scheme in seven years, Garoppolo has disappointed, ranking just 22nd in QBR entering Week 8. He completed just 10 of 21 attempts for 126 yards and an interception while taking six sacks on MNF.
The Raiders’ 3-5 record this season doesn’t even paint the full picture of how badly they’ve played. Las Vegas is currently 30th in DVOA and 28th in point differential at -61, which is even worse than the Denver Broncos, who lost by 50 points earlier this season.
McDaniels, known for his offensive-minded coaching style, has overseen the NFL’s 31st-ranked unit in yards per game. Unlike the other bad offenses in the NFL, the Raiders have plenty of talent at the skill positions with Jacobs, Adams, Hunter Renfrow, and Jakobi Meyers.
Besides McDaniels, much of the blame offensively goes to QB Jimmy Garoppolo, who has a 35.2 QB rating and is leading the league in interceptions despite playing just six of eight games.
Garoppolo, who was their replacement for Derek Carr, was supposed to have a smooth transition given his familiarity with McDaniels dating back to their time in New England. But so far this season, he has looked like one of the worst quarterbacks in the NFL, and that was on full display Monday night.
This story is developing and we’ll have more.