The Las Vegas Raiders are certainly on the ballot for most dysfunctional NFL franchise of the 21th century.
Other candidates include the Chicago Bears, who have sent one quarterback to the Pro Bowl since the turn of the millennium. The Miami Dolphins’ offensive line made national news in the 2010s for bullying and cocaine. Congratulations to the Detroit Lions for their successful start 2023, but just 15 years ago they went 0-16. However, the Raiders firing head coach Josh McDaniels and general manager Dave Ziegler with nine weeks remaining in the season is one of many instances in which they fail with flair.
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Linebackers coach Antonio Pierce was named interim head coach.
The Raiders managed to land arguably the best wide receiver in the NFL — Davante Adams — in 2022. After consecutive first-team All-Pro performances, and conference championship game appearances, Adams decided to leave the Green Bay Packers and Aaron Rodgers for less money. In return he was able to move closer to family and play alongside college teammate Derek Carr . This duo was reconnected by Ziegler and coached by McDaniels.
The Raiders finished 6-11 in 2022, and Adams’ pal was benched and released after the season. Jimmy Garopplo has been Carr’s replacement this season, when healthy, and Adams has spent much of this season fuming due to his lack of balls thrown his way. It culminated at the end of a Week 8 Monday night loss to the Lions when Adams left the field early and tried his hardest not to get agitated when talking to the press. He has already been critical of the team this month
In less than a season and a half, the Raiders alienated one of the best players in the NFL, who is playing for them at a discount. As a result, in the wee hours of Wednesday morning, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Daniels and Ziegler are no longer employed by the Raiders. Also, the franchise still owes Daniels the money for remaining time left on his six-year deal that he signed in 2022.
No coach firing will ever top the late Al Davis’ presentation by overhead projector in an attempt to convince America that Lane Kiffin was a bad person in 2008. He called the man a “professional liar”, basically by candlelight. That is theater, ladies and gentlemen, and the elder Davis always knew how to deliver.
His son Mark may lack his father’s bombast, but is nonetheless a character. There is the amusing side of him with the ill-fitting white suits, bowl haircut, and referring to drinking iced tea at P.F. Changs as being at “the office.”
The bad or hostile work environment allegations from a New York Times report, along with a mass rash of long-time employee leaving the organization, more accusations in a Las Vegas Review-Journal report, and of course, the hiring of Jon Gruden to a 10-year contract only for him to resign in shame after the leak of racist, sexist and homophobic emails. In response to the investigative pieces about the Raiders, Davis told the Review-Journal in July 2022 that they had “started to make those changes that are necessary to get the culture back to where we feel we can all be positive.”
The Raiders do not operate in silence, nor with a great deal of patience — except for Gruden, who was allowed to remain head coach after the first offensive email was leaked. Daniels was the franchise’ 13th head coach since 2000. For the second-time in his career he was fired during a regular season and this time he didn’t need to be alleged of a spygate sequel to be relieved from duty.
He simply continued the post-Y2K Raider way — loud failure.