Those who forget (or ignore) history are doomed to repeat it, right? The Las Vegas Raiders hired Josh McDaniels as their head coach just last year. And just like he did with the Denver Broncos, McDaniels didn't even make it through a second full season on the job. The Raiders have shockingly made the decision to fire McDaniels as well as GM Dave Ziegler, erasing the "Patriot Way" from their football brain trust.
I guess Mark Davis is taking Davante Adams's side?
The Raiders also fired offensive coordinator Mick Lombardi, so it will be interesting to see who begins calling the shots there as the season is merely halfway over at this point.
When the news came in about McDaniels being fired, I couldn't help but have a little bit of deja vu. It wasn't exactly 13 years to the date, but it was close. McDaniels was fired by the Denver Broncos on December 6, 2010 and he was disgraced in the process. Among a great number of reasons, the Broncos primarily fired McDaniels for the fact that he was caught cheating when the Broncos played a game in London against the San Francisco 49ers on October 30, 2010 (and still lost).
Once the news came out about the Broncos filming the 49ers' pre-game run-through, McDaniels was given the axe and Broncos Country has never forgiven him for the damage he did to the team. Not only did McDaniels get caught cheating, but he took the Broncos from being on the cusp of playoff contention to being arguably the worst team in the entire NFL. He gutted the roster, bringing in as many of his former Patriots pals as possible. There were rumors that McDaniels desperately wanted Matt Cassel to be his QB in Denver, but that never materialized, so he settled for trading away Jay Cutler and bringing in Kyle Orton.
McDaniels made a habit of alienating players, running his program in Denver like a high school team, and showing absolutely no leadership skills whatsoever. There was a big to-do made about McDaniels changing his ways when he was hired by the Raiders, and how he had learned so much from his time (failures) in Denver.
And now, his fate with the Raiders is almost the exact same as his fate with the Broncos. Fired before the second season was even over, completely embarrassing the ownership.
McDaniels will likely never be a head coach in the NFL again after this. He's not only now got two failed chances, but he also royally screwed the Indianapolis Colts a handful of years ago when he said "yes" to being their coach, only to back out of his commitment after hiring a coaching staff and everything.
At this point, it feels like the only job McDaniels is ever going to thrive in at the NFL level is under Bill Belichick in New England. And for a period of time there, it seemed like McDaniels was extremely aware of that.
What is really stunning about this development for the Raiders is the fact that the ownership decided to side with the players. You will often see disgruntled players on the sideline like we saw with Davante Adams on Monday night, and you will see that player traded in the weeks or days that follow. But in this instance, it appears that Mark Davis understood that the player was in the right.
McDaniels failed in his plan to lure Tom Brady to play for the Raiders. The fact that he had no backup plan meant that he prematurely and wrongfully alienated Derek Carr, who is playing well enough with the Saints right now to make the playoffs. Carr, by the way, who was a huge reason why Adams chose Las Vegas over Green Bay in the first place. After failing to lure Tom Brady, the Raiders pivoted to Jimmy Garoppolo, who has been injured and/or horrible so far this season.
Unfortunately, the Broncos couldn't capitalize on that back in Week 1...
Again, this is the bed the Raiders have made for themselves. No one should feel sorry for them for deciding on Josh McDaniels as their head coach when any other option would have likely been better. The Raiders wanted to go for a splash, and perhaps McDaniels even promised Tom Brady at some point in time to get the job. We'll never know that for sure.
One thing is certain: Josh McDaniels is not an NFL head coach.