A long-rumored pairing took a major step toward becoming a reality on Thursday afternoon when the Las Vegas Raiders asked for permission to speak to New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels about the head coach opening. McDaniels is expected to interview Saturday. There have been several reports that said the interest is mutual and McDaniels is now the favorite to succeed Jon Gruden as the Silver and Black’s full-time head coach.
Raiders requested today a head coach interview with Patriots' offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, per league source. McDaniels now expected to interview with the Raiders.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 27, 2022
McDaniels is being heavily connected in a package deal with New England’s Dave Ziegler, who interviewed for the Raiders’ open job to replace the fired Mike Mayock as general manager. It makes sense Ziegler and McDaniels would have interest in working together in Las Vegas.
The Raiders’ interest in Josh McDaniels has been there for a couple weeks. Interviews with McDaniels-connected personnel execs Dave Ziegler (potential GM) and Champ Kelly (potential assistant GM) set the stage for this.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) January 27, 2022
Structure is a vital element. Ziegler and Kelly provide it.
There are eight candidates for the Raiders’ general manager job and McDaniels is the fifth coaching candidate to emerge. Raiders interim coach Rich Bisaccia and New England inside linebackers coach Jerod Mayo have interviewed. Tampa Bay defensive coordinator Todd Bowles is interviewing on Thursday. San Francisco defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans is interviewing next week.
If McDaniels (who hasn’t gotten any other interest in this coaching cycle), gets the job, defensive coordinator possibilities could include Mayo and Don “Wink” Martindale, who recently left Baltimore. Martindale was McDaniels’ defensive coordinator in Denver in 2010. He is also a former Raiders’ assistant. So, the Raiders could become a 3-4 base defense.
McDaniels, 45, would come to Las Vegas with a mixed reaction. He is a superb offensive coach. But he was a major failure as a head coach with the Broncos more than a decade ago and he left the Colts at the alter four years ago. But perhaps Raiders’ owner Mark Davis is ready to give him another chance.