NFL News: Las Vegas Raiders Fire Josh McDaniels and GM Dave Ziegler


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In a shocking move, the NFL franchise Las Vegas Raiders announced late Tuesday night that they had parted ways with their head coach, Josh McDaniels, and general manager Dave Ziegler. Antonio Pierce, formerly the linebackers coach, will now step into the head coach role on an interim basis. The team also revealed that Champ Kelly has been promoted to the position of interim GM.

Additionally, Mick Lombardi, the offensive coordinator, has been shown the door, with quarterbacks coach Bo Hardegree set to take over his responsibilities.

For those keeping track, the Raiders’ record under McDaniels stood at a less than-impressive 3-5 this season and 9-16 overall since his takeover in 2022. NFL Lines took notice of this poor performance. One of the stark pain points? The team’s inability to muster more than 19 points in any game this season, despite McDaniels being handed a six-year contract in 2022.

Former NFL Raiders Coach Josh McDaniels

A Decision Inevitable but Unexpected

Raiders’ owner, Mark Davis, undoubtedly had hoped for more from the McDaniels-Ziegler duo. After the bitter taste of a 6-11 record in their first year, this season’s 3-5 start, including a demoralizing loss to the Lions, was seemingly the last straw. While many saw a shakeup on the horizon, the timing caught many off guard, especially as this decision came hot on the heels of the NFL trade deadline.

However, by making this call mid-season, Davis grants himself ample time to mull over potential GM and coaching candidates, ensuring the team can chart a clear course as soon as this season concludes.

This isn’t the Raiders’ first rodeo when it comes to abrupt mid-season changes. Rewind to 2021, post-Jon Gruden’s resignation, the team rallied under interim coach Rich Bisaccia to finish at 10-7 and even clinch a playoff spot. This season, the stakes are different. With a 3-5 record and a roster that arguably has seen better days, Antonio Pierce, the new interim head coach, has his work cut out. Though the defense has shown some spunk, the offense remains a significant concern. Yet, Pierce can bank on locker room leaders like Maxx Crosby, and Josh Jacobs, and new additions like Davante Adams to galvanize the team.

A Spotlight on Kelly

Champ Kelly, now stepping in as interim GM, isn’t a new face for the Raiders. Before Ziegler’s appointment, Kelly was in the running for the GM position and later joined as assistant GM. Known for his significant contributions to scouting and personnel decisions, this could be Kelly’s moment to cement his credentials for a permanent GM role.

It’s worth noting that this isn’t McDaniels’ first exit mid-way into his second season as a head coach. His stint with the Denver Broncos between 2009-2010 ended in similar fashion. As of now, he’s the first NFL coach to face the axe this season. A stark contrast to last year, when the first coach firing occurred after Week 5.

For bettors studying NFL Odds, this significant shift in the Raiders’ coaching and management team is bound to impact the team’s strategy and performance. It’s crucial to keep a close watch on how the Raiders adapt to these changes as the season progresses.