ESPN Insiders Share What They Learned About the Raiders Locker Room and What Led to Josh McDaniels Being Fired

The fans asked for it and finally it happened. A Halloween gift for every Raiders at the heavily inflated cost of nearly $85 million.

From the outside, it wasn’t hard to see why Raiders’ owner Mark Davis fired Josh McDaniels. Everyone looked miserable playing for McDaniels and the team was getting worse every week.

But what were the underlying problems behind the scenes?

In an ESPN Insider piece this week, Jeremy Fowler and Dan Graziano tackled that question…

Fowler: After asking around, I get the sense that people skills and culture were primary issues — and ones that essentially plagued McDaniels in two coaching stops. Players aired their grievances in a team-meeting setting, and owner Mark Davis was well aware of some of the frustrations. Players felt overworked in some cases. As one source put it, the tone was set by the regime that if the lights were on in the building, people should be there working. While that sounds like a nice football trope for dedication to the craft, that throwback Patriots-style mentality can be problematic for grown men with families.

Then there was the handling of the quarterback position. That McDaniels couldn’t coalesce with Derek Carr seemed odd to some people in the building. He turned to a quarterback he trusted in Jimmy Garoppolo, who looked immobile and erratic during the first half of the season, to the point some thought rookie Aidan O’Connell should have been playing earlier. Pursuing a top quarterback in the 2023 draft might have bought McDaniels and Ziegler more time.

Graziano: The sense around the building was that McDaniels just kept insisting they trust him and that it would turn around eventually if they stuck to his plan. As one person close to the situation told me, “Players know. And if all you’re ever telling them is, ‘I know better,’ you’re going to lose them pretty quick.”

I have been told McDaniels’ management style was a little more empathetic in Las Vegas than it was 10 years earlier in Denver, and that the general vibe around the building was less contentious. But the team was clearly not making progress in any helpful direction, and in the end, McDaniels’ insistence that he would be proven right if they just stuck to what they were doing didn’t make sense to the players or, ultimately, ownership.

twitter: @raidersbeat


1 thought on “ESPN Insiders Share What They Learned About the Raiders Locker Room and What Led to Josh McDaniels Being Fired

  1. Back to the pats as oc again to work on re tooling that team I guess where he should have stayed In the first place 🤔 cost mark alot to find that out he need better advisors in his life to go forward go raiders 1980

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