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Thoughts on report of ‘tensions’ and ‘complicated’ Raiders’ 0-3 start

Let’s not blame the roster

NFL: Arizona Cardinals at Las Vegas Raiders
Josh McDaniels
Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

When a team unexpectedly begins a season in a disappointing fashion, the way the Las Vegas Raiders have, there’s bound to be tales of despair.

That was the case when Pro Football Network published an ‘‘inside’ look at the Raiders 0-3 start and the ‘tensions” its created. Some of the highlights of the story:

  • Not only did owner Mark Davis meet with head coach Josh McDaniels and Dave Ziegler immediately after Sunday’s loss at Tennessee, but quarterback Derek Carr, defensive end Maxx Crosby and other leaders, held a players-only meeting at some point.
  • Multiple sources told reporter Aaron Wilson that the Raiders’ poor start is “complicated” and its based on personnel than culture. Sources said there’s big issues on the offensive line and in the secondary, based on poor personnel choices by the previous regime of Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock.
NFL: Las Vegas Raiders at Los Angeles Chargers
Mark Davis, Dave Ziegler
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
  • A source told Wilson that the Raiders aren’t “set up right to succeed” and it will take “patience” before McDaniels and Ziegler can make this team “competitive.” Yet, a source said the Raiders should be fine in the long run with this regime.

Because this story has created a buzz among many Raiders fans, I wanted to address it. I’m not going to dwell on this for long at this point, though. If the losing continues, there will be more angst to digest. First, I honestly don’t think there’s much to worry about concerning this report at the moment. But I do have some thoughts.

It’s interesting that the team’s talent level is being spun as an excuse for this new regime. I call BS on that.

If Ziegler and McDaniels really thought there were major issues on the roster that would keep it from competing this year why did they trade a first-and-second round draft pick for Davante Adam and why did they give 32-year old pass-rusher Chandler Jones $34 million guaranteed? Why did they give holdovers Carr, Crosby, slot receiver Hunter Renfrow and Darren Waller new contracts? These deals keep the core in Las Vegas for the next three years and created a Super Bowl window.

Ziegler and McDaniels spent like they had a team that was ready to make a move as a true contender, which would be expected of a franchise that went 10-7 and made the playoffs last season.

For sources to now suggest they inherited a bare cupboard would be disingenuous and revisionist history. The truth is no team is perfect and every roster has weak spots. The fact that the Raiders have so many stars truly pours water on the excuse that the roster being the primary reason for the poor start.

I truly hope McDaniels and Ziegler don’t feel this way and the sources are outside observers. if they do, this has a chance to get worse before it gets better. Again, it’s early and things can turnaround, but the suggestion that this is a rebuild and patience is required is truly insulting to the intelligence of Raiders’ fans.