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Josh McDaniels set to become new Las Vegas Raiders head coach

Josh McDaniels
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

After struggling in nearly two full seasons with the Denver Broncos, Josh McDaniels’ head-coach career has new life. As has been expected for the past several hours, the 45-year-old McDaniels is set to become the Las Vegas Raiders’ next head coach.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter was the first to report that the two sides are finalizing a deal that will make McDaniels the full-time head coach to replace the disgraced Jon Gruden in Sin City.

This comes on the heels of other reports indicating that New England Patriots front office man Dave Ziegler has been hired to be the Raiders’ next general manager. Dating back to their days together with the Broncos and Patriots, McDaniels and Ziegler have worked together for a decade.

As for Josh McDaniels, he took part in a formal interview with Raiders owner Mark Davis earlier this weekend. The expectation at that point was that McDaniels would in fact become Las Vegas’ next head coach.

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Dec 15, 2019; Cincinnati, OH, USA; New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels during the third quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Sans a three-year run outside of the Patriots’ organization from 2009-2011 (Broncos head coach, Rams offensive coordinator), McDaniels has been one of the faces of New England’s organization. He acted as the team’s offensive coordinator from 2006-08 and returned to that role back in 2013.

As for his success as a coordinator, it speaks for itself. He’s led 12 top-10 scoring offenses in 13 seasons in that role with New England. Sure some will point to Tom Brady’s presence prior to his exit in 2020. But it must be noted that New England’s offense hummed a long to the tune of a No. 6 scoring unit under rookie quarterback Mac Jones this past regular season.

However, this hiring doesn’t come without some controversy. Back in 2018, McDaniels agreed to become the Indianapolis Colts head coach. In fact, the team made an announcement as McDaniels himself was hiring assistant coaches. Later the same day, McDaniels backed out of the job — leaving his assistants in a bad situation. While eventual Colts head coach Frank Reich kept said assistants, it did not paint McDaniels in a great light.

In 28 games as the Denver Broncos head coach in 2009-10, McDaniels posted an 11-17 record. It seemed at that point he was a bit too immature to have a head coach job. Since then, he’s morphed into one of the most-respected coordinators in the NFL.

For the Raiders, this hiring comes after Jon Gruden had to resign during the 2021 season after an email scandal depicted him in a racist, sexist and homophobic manner. Special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia took over the job, only to lead Vegas to a surprise playoff appearance.