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3 takeaways: Las Vegas Raiders’ Josh McDaniels talks Davante Adams and more

Breven Honda

The next event of the NFL offseason is here with the annual league meetings taking place in Florida. One of those in attendance is Las Vegas Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels, who is continuing to build relationships not only with his players, but also those around the league this week.

In his first time speaking to media since free agency started , here are three takeaways from McDaniels’ Monday presser.

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Davante Adams ‘maturity’ to the Las Vegas Raiders

las vegas raiders' davante adams
Mike De Sisti / USA TODAY NETWORK

Wide receiver Davante Adams, who was traded to Las Vegas from Green Bay on March 18 for a first and second-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, comes to the Silver and Black with five consecutive Pro Bowl nods and back-to-back First-Team All-Pro honors.  

In addition, Adams signed a five-year, $140 million contract to remain with the Raiders through the 2026 season. This briefly made him the NFL highest-paid wide receiver until Tyreek Hill was traded to the Dolphins and signed afour-year, $120 million extension a bit later.

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Prior to the trade announcement between Green Bay and Las Vegas, McDaniels and general manager Dave Ziegler ensured they covered everything about the 29-year-old, not only who Adams is on the field, but also off the field.

“When you’re making a decision of that magnitude, you cross all the T’s and dot all the I’s. With Davante, we felt like this is the kind of player that you would consider doing this for, and he’s certainly been a great football player.

“After having the opportunity to meet him and spend some time with him the other day, everything that we had heard, everything that we were told, all the different recommendations and all the different things we heard about him as a person, those were true too. Feel really comfortable about the decision that we made, and really good about the player and person that we added to our team.”

Las Vegas Raiders’ Josh McDaniels on Davante Adams (March 28, 2022)

Despite the honors Adams has received, he told his former Fresno State teammate and quarterback Derek Carr that he does not have to throw him ball every play. This focuses on the other weapons the Raiders have in the passing game with wide receiver Hunter Renfrow and tight end Darren Waller.

McDaniels said that experience and maturity from Adams is vital to the potential success of this team.   

“He’s unselfish and at the end of the day, you’re talking about two really mature guys. If you want to win and you want to win playoff games and you want to compete to do the things that we want to do in the organization and those players want to do themselves as teammates, those are the things you have to do,” McDaniels said of Adams and Carr.

“There’s really no choice about this. The right thing to do is always what’s best for the team. I think those two understand that and the fact that they have a great attitude about is really helpful for everybody else.”

Related: Davante Adams turning in fandom to join Las Vegas Raiders

Las Vegas Raiders offensive line continuing to take shape

In addition to the Raiders trading for Adams, the team has also added depth to the running back position and defense, both at the line and in the secondary. However, one position the team has not done much is the offensive line.

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McDaniels said both him and Ziegler are patient when it comes to adding O-line pieces with the upcoming draft and training camp before the regular season begins.  

“You try to do what you feel is best to improve every area for your team. I know there were some things in free agency where you’re going into it saying, ‘let’s take a look at all these different areas and sometimes it really doesn’t fall within your range.’ I know we had some interest in some people to improve the overall group.

There’s a lot of ways to improve. You can add players. You can improve them. We’re going to take every avenue we can and try to do that. We still have the draft. We still have post-draft. We still have June. We still have August.”

Las Vegas Raiders’ Josh McDaniels on offensive line situation

Ultimately, with the offensive line the team currently has after re-signing lineman Jermaine Eluemunor on March 25, McDaniels said the coaches, especially offensive line coach Carmen Bricillo, will continue to teach and mentor the players.

“I feel pretty good about the group that we have,” McDaniels said. “Now, it’s our job in the short term here is to try to coach them, get them to play better, each group, each man, and that’s what we’ll focus on.”  

Adding Chandler Jones and keeping Maxx Crosby will be huge in 2022 

NFL: Pro Bowl-NFC at AFC
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

One of the big additions to the defense has been adding defensive end Chandler Jones. That came with trading Yannick Ngakoue to Indianapolis for cornerback Rock Ya-Sin, who will also play a big role on defense.

Jones, who was with McDaniels in New England to start his NFL career, came into the NFL in 2012. Over the last decade, the 32-year-old has accumulated 33 forced fumbles and 107.5 sacks, including a season-high 17 sacks in 2017.

McDaniels said with the relationship he already has with Jones, it will help the defense become more cohesive.    

“I’ve known Chandler for a long time and, so Chandler’s a really good guy,” McDaniels said. “He’s obviously a great football player and he has an infectious personality.

He practices like that. He comes to work with a smile on his face. He’s an easy guy to like, so I think his teammates will embrace him quickly, I’m sure, and he’ll reciprocate that with what he does in practice and hopefully on the game field.”

One of those teammates to embrace Jones is defensive end Maxx Crosby, who signed a four-year, $94 million contract on March 11.

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With Jones coming in with four Pro Bowl nods and two First-Team AP All-Pro nods in addition to Crosby receiving his first Pro Bowl last year, opposing offenses will have difficulty in figuring out who to block.

McDaniels said extending Crosby was important because of his work ethic and effort to the Las Vegas Raiders’ organization.  

“If you can score or affect the quarterback on defense, those are two really important things to every football team and obviously Maxx can do that,” McDaniels said. “The other thing I love about Maxx Crosby is he’s in the building first every day. I’m not sure I know anybody that works any harder at his craft than he does.