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About Dave Ziegler, Josh McDaniels and CJ Stroud

Former GM trying to get new job

Houston Texans v Las Vegas Raiders
Josh McDaniels, Dave Ziegler
Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

My take on the Dave Ziegler-Josh McDaniels report that included Ziegs’ plan to draft quarterback CJ Stroud was nixed by the coach?

So what.

Oh, and who cares?

Social media was on fire Thursday when Sports Illustrated reported a story that defended Ziegler and examined that McDaniels kept him from doing good things for the Las Vegas Raiders including Ziegler’s plan to trade up to draft Stroud out of Ohio State.

Now, the reality is Houston kept the No. 2 pick and drafted Stroud, who is the runaway favorite to be the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. McDaniels and Ziegler, of course, were fired together October 31.

It is obvious that Ziegler or someone in his camp is trying to disassociate him from McDaniels and trying to show that he is a capable front-office man who was hamstrung by a meddlesome coach.

It’s ridiculous that this narrative is being sold from a Ziegler perspective. Please don’t take this as a defense of McDaniels. He was awful in every phase of his job and deserved to be fired as Ziegler did.

These guys were a package deal. They were college teammates. They were in Denver together. They were in New England together and the only reason why Ziegler was hired just before McDaniels was because he told Raiders’ owner Mark Davis that McDaniels would come.

We all remember their introductory press conference less than two years ago. Ziegler was introduced first and then McDaniels came out like he was the big headliner. Yes, Ziegler said he had final say then. But clearly he didn’t or he would have had the chance to make the Stroud trade no matter what McDaniels thought.

Plus, it’s easy for him to sell that he wanted Stroud. What teams didn’t? Being one of many who liked Stroud pre-draft doesn’t make him a genius NFL owners should run to hire to run their franchise next month.

But that’s what he wants. He wants people around the NFL to think he’s not a McDaniels guy. I get that. McDaniels’ reputation is awful around the league these days. But the truth is, McDaniels and Ziegler were a tandem and they failed together.

Painting this picture that Ziegler was an innocent fall guy is a flat, desperate attempt for self preservation by him or those close to him. It shouldn’t work.