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Silver Minings: Josh McDaniels was one of least aggressive coaches in 2022

The Raiders’ head coach was often conservative on 4th down

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NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at Las Vegas Raiders
Josh McDaniels
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

One of the most disappointing aspects of an extremely disappointing 2022 season by the Las Vegas Raiders was the the play calling by first year head coach Josh McDaniels.

McDaniels came to Las Vegas with a reputation as an elite offensive play caller during his long stint as the offensive coordinator of the New England Patriots. Yet, McDaniels had a rocky first year with the Raiders. One of his glaring issues was a lack of aggression on fourth down. In short, his play calling on fourth down was lackluster to say the least.

A recent study by the Football Outsiders showed McDaniels was one of the least aggressive head coaches in the NFL. He was fifth least aggressive head coach in the league.

It is not necessarily a bad thing at all times. There are two Super Bowl-winning coaches were were less aggressive than McDaniels last year. Pittsburgh Steelers’ Mike Tomlin was 29th and McDaniels’ mentor, Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots was 31st.

On the other side of the coin, though, four of the 10 most aggressive head coaches on fourth down made the playoffs (including Philadelphia’s Nick Sirianni at No. 1) and the lowest ranked team of the 14 teams to advance to the postseason was New York Giants coach Brian Daboll at No. 25. Seven of the eight lowest ranked coaches were from teams that finished under .500, including McDaniels’ whose team went 6-11.

It’s clear as he works to improve in 2023, this is one of the areas McDaniels has to consider.

In other Raiders’ news:

  • QB watch: The Athletic has a look at seven quarterbacks the Raiders will study at the NFL combine this week.
  • Safety to hit the market: The Browns are planning to release safety John Johnson. Perhaps he will be a fit for the Raiders.
  • Wentz interest? Pro Football Network has listed the Raiders as a possible landing spot for recently released quarterback Carson Wentz. It would have to be as a backup.
  • Maxx speaks: Raiders’ defensive end Maxx Crosby tells The Pivot podcast what he’s looking for in defensive teammates.