Rejoice: Why Josh McDaniels’ Raiders Firing Was Long Overdue

Darren - November 2, 2023

Rejoice: Why Josh McDaniels’ Raiders Firing Was Long Overdue

Darren - November 2, 2023

AP Photo

Big Decisions Gone Wrong

Another major reason why firing McDaniels was a long-overdue decision is because he got all of the big moments wrong. We’ve already looked at some of these in detail and we’ll break down more. Individually, none of these are make or break on their own but together they’re horrendous.

The Cold Wire

McDaniels was like an alcoholic deciding that one drink is a good idea. His arrogance, poor choices, and lack of charisma made him one of the worst in the business. It’s likely that no team will give him the top job again because they can’t trust him. It may be a safe bet that he’ll return to New England, however (via The Ringer).


Player Discontent

Another significant reason why firing McDaniels was long overdue is because he lost the locker room. His players resented him and didn’t respect him. McDaniels faced an open attack on his authority from star receiver Davante Adams. The former Green Bay wideout openly admitted that he didn’t see ‘eye to eye’ on the team’s direction.

The Spun

He also slammed his helmet on the ground after a measly one catch in their most recent loss to the Detroit Lions on Monday night. This reflected badly on McDaniels because of his record. The coach has a history of spreading discontent every time he takes the hot seat. It’s difficult to lead if the players refuse to buy in to his plan (via ABC News).

Action Network

The Trade Deadline

For some reason, Davis waited until after the trade deadline to fire McDaniels and Ziegler. We’re not sure why he did this because this was a long-overdue decision. If they installed a new coach and GM earlier, they could potentially have done some roster reconstruction (via CBS Sports).

Las Vegas Review-Journal

Instead, Davis pulled the trigger nine hours after the deadline. Some analysts speculated that this became a point of contention between the trio. It’s easy to see why Davis would be reluctant to allow them to make more mistakes. But fans will wish that he did it during the offseason.

Las Vegas Review-Journal

The Renfrow Situation

Slot receiver Hunter Renfrow had a breakout season in 2021 as he set personal bests and earned his first Pro Bowl selection. The wideout knew that he was in for a fight for targets when the Raiders signed Derek Carr’s best friend, Davante Adams. But he still believed that his career was about to reach new heights.

Sports Illustrated

However, he had a disastrous 2022 as injuries took their toll. Then, rumors ignited that he didn’t fit into McDaniels’ plans and that they wanted to trade him. But the problem was that teams were unwilling to pay all of the guaranteed money in Renfrow’s ridiculous contract (via

Sports Illustrated

Too Bad To Keep

The reality was that financially speaking, Davis most likely didn’t want to fire McDaniels and Ziegler. It was a very expensive decision that will hang over the franchise for the next few years. In 2022, they signed their now-former head coach to a six-year deal worth about $10 million per season (via Sporting News).

Sporting News

This leaves them with an outrageous amount of dead money to deal with. The fully guaranteed contract means that they have a massive sum to hand out. It’s the easiest cash that McDaniels will ever make because he doesn’t have to do anything. This was long overdue but that’s because it was a bitter pill to swallow.


That Brutal Chicago Loss

This will haunt McDaniels for the remainder of his coaching career. The Raiders entered this game as favorites against another downtrodden franchise in the Chicago Bears. One of the stories of the game was Tyson Bagent, a former Division II quarterback, who led three touchdown drives. The undrafted player humiliated Las Vegas with his confident display.

NBC Sports

The Raiders had quarterback problems of their own as former Patriot Brian Hoyer replaced the injured Jimmy Garoppolo. However, he had three interceptions including a costly pick-six as Aidan O’Connell sat watching. McDaniels received criticism for not throwing his rookie into the fray (via AP News).

CBS Sports

History Repeats Itself

We already spoke about McDaniels’ horrible record in Las Vegas. However, there’s nothing new about this because the same thing happened during his short Denver tenure. His first foray as an NFL head coach was a complete failure as he went 11-17. He also had a notorious cheating scandal as he followed his mentor Bill Belichick’s footsteps.


Meanwhile, McDaniels achieved the unwanted record. He became the first head coach of the Super Bowl era to lose his job before reaching the end of the second season with two teams. This says plenty about McDaniels and why firing him was long overdue (via Las Vegas Review-Journal).


Carr Conundrum

McDaniels and Ziegler combined to make some horrendous decisions. First, McDaniels decided that he didn’t want Derek Carr on the team anymore. It’s fair to criticize Carr’s failure to become a top-five quarterback. But he remains a consistent player and was a respected figure in the locker room (via Pro Football Network).

Sports Illustrated

But then he brought in Jimmy Garoppolo on an expensive deal in a backward step for the franchise. Meanwhile, Ziegler infuriated Mike Davis because Carr’s recent contract extension allowed him to walk away without the Raiders receiving compensation. It was a mess on all fronts and another reason that firing them was long overdue.


Shocking Meltdowns

The Raiders suffered several shocking meltdowns during McDaniels’ ill-fated reign. They threw away five double-figure leads in the second half of games. McDaniels showed his inability to manage a game and see out a victory from a comfortable position. That’s why firing him was a must.

Meanwhile, we looked at his overall records as well as the teams they lost against. McDaniels failed to adapt when the momentum shifted in games. This was something that fans saw when he was in Denver too. He has a history of failure as a head coach despite his proficiency as a coordinator (via A to Z Sports).

SF Gate

The Field Goal

One moment that sums up McDaniels’ awful playcalling came against the Steelers in Week 3. The Raiders shocked everybody when they kicked a field goal down by eight points instead of going for a first down in the dying minutes of the game. This gave Pittsburgh the chance to run the clock down and seal the victory (via

Las Vegas Review-Journal

McDaniels attempted to justify his decision but he dug a hole for himself.  He explained: “You try to make it a five-point game where you have an opportunity to win it with the touchdown if you get the ball back. Or you try to go for it there. And then if you happen to convert, you’ve got to make the two-point conversion.”

Las Vegas Review-Journal

Jimmy G’s Regression

There are so many things wrong with Garoppolo in Las Vegas that it’s difficult to know where to start. He failed a physical before he signed his contract and required foot surgery. But they still brought him in despite knowing that he had problems because he was McDaniels’ ‘guy’.


Somehow, at the time of McDaniels’ firing, he led the league in interceptions with nine despite only playing in six games. This was one of the worst decisions of McDaniels’ short tenure because he was behind it. In the end, it was a complete disaster and one more reason why firing him was long overdue (via New York Post).

SacTown Sports

Empty Confidence

One of the clearest reasons why the Raiders fired McDaniels is because of his empty confidence. He continually insisted the team was getting better and showing signs of going in the right direction. However, reality painted a different picture and began to irritate Mark Davis.

Las Vegas Review-Journal

Finally, he left the owner no choice even though it was long overdue in the minds of their fans. We’ve spoken already about McDaniels’ ludicrous contract as well as the money they poured into free-agent signings and extensions. In the end, they lost all confidence in McDaniels’ empty sense of confidence (via NBC Sports).