When Mark Davis asked which head coach he would try to hire if he became the Las Vegas Raiders’ general manager, Dave Ziegler quickly named Josh McDaniels.
Davis wondered if McDaniels would be interested. Ziegler assured Davis if he was hired, McDaniels would come. And now the two former college football teammates are tasked to lead the franchise for the future.
While Ziegler may have not gotten the job without McDaniels, his presence in Henderson is vital for him. From watching the Monday press conference, it was clear to me that McDaniels needs Ziegler in Las Vegas.
McDaniels brought Ziegler to Denver 13 years ago (they were teammates at John Carroll University and close friends) when Ziegler was an underling. McDaniels really didn’t have anyone to keep him in check and he failed miserably. McDaniels, who was 32 when hired, was a disaster in Denver. He clashed with players and staff, he made terrible decisions and went just 11-17 before being fired during his second season. He didn’t have a safety net. He was basically given too much control and it hurt him.
Now, Ziegler will run the personnel department and McDaniels will coach the team. That’s the way it should be. Ziegler said he will have roster control. That’s an important, encouraging first sign that McDaniels was agreeable to this. He said that has he learned from his mistakes In Denver and this is a sign that he has. If Ziegler is allowed to do his job, McDaniels can focus on his.
We don’t know if Ziegler will be a success in this role, but by having dedicated roles, it’s a good first step for both McDaniels and Ziegler. McDaniels is a great football mind. If he focuses on that and lets Ziegler do his job, this can work.
So, Ziegler’s role in this leadership structure can not be underestimated.