The NFL Players Association recently conducted a survey to help create a “Free Agency Guide” for players scheduled to hit the open market as well as to provide transparency on the working conditions of each club. Over 1,300 players were polled about their respective teams, primarily focusing on the facilities and coaching staff.
The Las Vegas Raiders received mostly positive reviews, especially when it came to their facilities.
“The Las Vegas Raiders ranked as the 3rd best team in our guide,” the NFLPA found. “With their new facilities in place now for nearly 3 years, we heard from multiple players on other teams the request to “make the facilities more like Vegas.” The workplace is mostly state-of-the-art, and 90% of players believe that club owner Mark Davis is willing to spend money to upgrade the operations if needed, ranking him 20th in this category.”
However, the Raiders coaching staff, and specifically Josh McDaniels, wasn’t viewed in the same light.
“[In Las Vegas], the lowest graded category was the coaching staff. Player respondents felt that Head Coach Josh McDaniels is less likely to listen to his players and keeps them for longer hours than other Head Coaches around the league. Longer hours are not correlated to winning, as seven of the top eight coaches rated as being most efficient with their players’ time in the 2022 survey made the playoffs this year.”
Again, only players who were under contract for the Silver and Black were polled, so this isn’t a good sign for McDaniels, who has a history of rubbing players the wrong way. During his brief stint as the Denver Broncos head coach, many players grew frustrated with his coaching style and haven’t been shy about it.
Tyler Polumbus, who played for McDaniels for one season in Denver, shared a series of tweets last September about how the coach would berate players in front of the entire team and was overconfident in his ability to develop quarterbacks. The direct quote from Polumbus on the latter was: “After trading away the young nucleus of our offense including Jay Cutler, Josh said to the entire team ‘Fellas don’t worry about the QB situation, I can turn a [high school] QB into an All-Pro’.”
When McDaniels accepted the Indianapolis Colts head coach job back in 2018, only to back out of the deal shortly afterward, SB Nation’s Stampede Blue reached out to people who covered the Broncos during his tenure to find out what went wrong in the Mile High city. The quotes from the Broncos writers were in line with Polumbus’ tweets.
However, McDaniels had reportedly turned a new leaf and learned from his mistakes before heading to Las Vegas. During a lot of his offseason press conferences, he talked about how he has a better grasp and understanding of the people and relationship side of the job. But, this recent study suggests otherwise.
Now, the findings from the NFLPA’s study aren’t nearly as dramatic or concerning as what went down with the Broncos. That being said, this isn’t exactly the news the Raiders were hoping for with free agency approaching in a couple of weeks.
Below are the rest of the grades and where Vegas ranked within the league for the other categories within the study:
- Treatment of Families: B, t-12th
- Food Service/Nuturion: A-, t-5th
- Weight Room: A+, t-1st
- Strength Coaches: A+, t-1st
- Training Room: A, 4th
- Training Staff: B+, t-22nd
- Locker Room: A+, t-1st
- Team Travel: A+, t-1st
In other Raiders’ links:
- Josh Jacobs expected to get tagged: NFL Media’s Tom Pelissero tweeted that the Raiders will apply the franchise tag to the 2022 rushing champ if they cannot agree to a long-term deal before Tuesday’s deadline.
- NFL Combine Day 4 recap: the quarterbacks spoke to the media, and a few defensive linemen and linebackers you’ll want to keep tabs on.
- QB plan is evolving: Raiders general manager Dave Ziegler isn’t facing pressure from owner Mark Davis to find a signal-caller who can “win now”, per The Athletic’s Vic Tafur.
- Anthony Richardson mocked to Vegas: somewhat contrary to the link above, CBS Sports sent the Florida QB to Sin City in their recent mock draft.