Monday, Las Vegas Raiders owner Mark Davis stood by his new coach, saying Josh McDaniels will be with the team for years to come despite the team’s unexpected 2-5 start.
McDaniels too is keeping positive amid a tough start. In fact, he told reporters Monday, a day after a 24-0 defeat to the woeful New Orleans Saints, that he is still hopeful for a turnaround this season.
“Absolutely. Again, it’s a long year. I believe we haven’t reached our best football yet and it’s going to take work and progress and improvement in order to do that,” McDaniels said. “But, again, at this point in time nobody’s really qualified for anything, and nobody’s been eliminated.
“And that’s common. I think there’s 12 or 13 teams right now that have a winning record and there is so many games and so much football left to be played, and there’s a lot of things that we need to do better. We need to coach and play better to earn better results. Consistency is going to be what we’re going to try to push for. If we can do that and start playing our best football here and start stringing together some wins, you look up at the end of the year and a lot of things can happen. Certainly, that’s our goal.”
McDaniels said the team must be realistic, though, and approach the rest of the season all knowing what is ahead of them. The Raiders are spending this week in Sarasota, Florida, in between games in New Orleans and Jacksonville. The Raiders have a winnable game at the 2-6 Jaguars on Sunday. Kickoff is 10 a.m. PT.
“I think the best thing we can all do is, one, be truthful and honest with one another. Treat one another the way we’ve treated them all year,” McDaniels said. “We have a really high character locker room; we have a bunch of great people in there that work really hard at their job. I fully trust and believe in them. Again, yes, as disappointing as yesterday was, we’ve had some signs of progress here and really just try to stay consistent as much as we can here. We learn from the things we don’t do well and hopefully we can improve and get better. Like I said, it’s not unique to us, we’re not the only team that loses games. And again, as hard as yesterday was, hopefully we’ll be able to learn the lessons from that and be better. I think people respond to just direct, honest, open dialogue, and that’s what we’re going to do. And our guys have always been accountable to that and I have a great deal of respect for every one of them. Our goals are still out there. We’re going to need to play better, coach better, to earn them.”
And it begins now.