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2022 New Hire NFL Head Coach Analysis #7: Josh McDaniels, Las Vegas

August 2, 2022 9:59 AM
August 2, 2022 9:55 AM

2022 New Hire NFL Head Coach Analysis #7: Josh McDaniels, Las Vegas


(same intro as prior coaching analysis reports)


I need to address two things at the top, and I’ll probably copy and paste this into every intro ahead of the new hire coaching analysis for 2022…


1: Why are your (RC’s) famous coaching studies just now starting (July 2022)? You usually do them in Jan.-Feb.-Mar.?

I used to be excited to jump right on these studies but the longer I research and study the NFL, as it relates to Fantasy Football, the new head coach is not as big a factor as I thought it once was. I do some base research right away, when they are hired, to identify trends/patterns in their (and their staff’s) history on offense especially -- but a full research report, as I have done for years, I am arriving at a belief that it just isn’t as important as player scouting and study, so I put it off until I had the time to work on it…so, he we are.

It's a definite, purposeful lack of priority as to why I’m starting the deeper reports in the summer.


2: Why do I (RC) think the new head coaching hires are not as important as they once were?

After years and years of NFL study and observation, I’ve come to the most simple/obvious conclusion about a new (or any) NFL head coach importance to team wins/performance: Tell me who their quarterback is, and I’ll tell you how ‘good’ a coach they’re gonna be this season/ahead.

All my years of NFL observation, all I see is coaching failure and nonsense from the top (head coach)…out of touch philosophies, fighting with the GM, strange decisions for their starting lineups, and inability to manage a salary cap or construct a roster. Now, they do know how to do the ‘job’ of coaching…they know playbooks, weight rooms, stretching, dumb/cliché filled speeches, dress codes for road trips, practice schedules, blowing a whistle, coach speak press conferences, play calling from the playbook…they know how to perform the job of ‘coach’, but ‘difference makers’? Legends? Geniuses? Name one.

Ask yourself, if head coaches are so smart and such great communicators and understand the game so well…why are ex-quarterbacks getting tens of millions of dollars to analyze the game on TV, and not ex-NFL head coaches? Have you listened to the Bruce Arians, or Jeff Fisher, or Brian Billick, or any of the ex-coaches try and call a game…or even host a pregame show or something like it? Useless. Ex-quarterbacks in the booth are always natural and detailed and understand what they are seeing and can communicate it. Ex-head coaches…well, there’s Rex Ryan as a nonsensical sideshow on a dying media company’s pregame show. Steve Mariucci? Are you kidding me?

We all thought we had Bill Belichick to look up to, but then we saw how he handled the Tom Brady situation and how he wanted rid of Tom, and how he’s fared since Tom (and how Tom has fared without him). Who has been a better coach in the NFL? Bill Belichick or Bruce Arians? Answer = the one possessed Tom Brady, that’s who.

There are better coaches than others, for sure…but it’s more ‘least damaging to things’ is better than ‘very damaging to things’. They do know how to swing a whistle on a string around their finger and bark nonsense while the players stretch out pregame/practice.

In the end, this following statement is going to make you deny it…and then when you think about it, you’ll agree…and then it is sobering (for coaches): the location/geography, the weather, the stadium, the surrounding city, and the tax ramifications of that area/state are more important in attracting and keeping players than ‘head coach’.

A head coach has one main characteristic they MUST possess…don’t piss off the elite quarterback/you must befriend the elite quarterback.

Football fans are always so religious in their faith and defense of and promotion of their team’s new head coach -- it boggles my mind. People believe in a new hire head coach, likely a guy they may have never heard of before they entered the interview cycle/media cycle, with more rigor than church goers believe in God on Sundays. You can have hope in your new head coach for your favorite team, but these coaches are mere mortals, and most doomed-to-fail (and these adoring fans will turn on them within two years of their hire)…and many of these new head coaches were not the first or even third-fourth-fifth choices during the interview process, but when these coaches land on ‘your’ team then the making-them-into-a-god process by the media…and thus the sheep/fans go right along for the ride.



How good a head coach will Josh McDaniels be for Las Vegas?

I dunno, who is his QB?

Derek Carr?

OK, he’ll be a +/- .500…more on the ‘minus’ side.

What’s that you say?

McDaniels is coaching in the AFC West and Carr is the 4th best QB in the division with a bullet?

Oh, then he’ll finish last in the division, and under .500 each time for the next two seasons and should be fired after that…but he’ll get a 3rd year probably -- because Mark Davis as an owner of anything is ridiculous.

That’s the short version.


The long version is so abhorrent, to me, that I don’t want to waste time typing about it -- but I will. I have to.

Basically, the answer to every question you might have about this hiring is -- Josh McDaniels and the new GM Dave Ziegler were both long-time New England employees and thus they MUST know about winning. That was Mark Davis’s mantra at their intro press conference…it was McDaniels/Ziegler’s low key answer to anything, the thing to hide behind, and it was the theme of every question from the media at their introductory presser -- what did you learn from Belichick, what are you bringing over from Belichick to make this team a title contender, what is your favorite Belichick thing, what do Belichick’s farts smell like?

Nothing can go wrong with this hiring, because Patriots assistants have a rich history of success away from Belichick, so no reason to doubt this pairing. As an owner of a billion-dollar NFL franchise, if you can’t put two and two together on the Belichick lieutenants mostly failing, epicly, for years as head coaches, then you deserve the losses to come.

At the new hire intro press conference, Mark Davis mildly thanked last year’s interim head coach, Rich Bisaccia, kinda, for pulling off a miracle and getting this team to the playoffs last season. His comment actually was (paraphrasing)…we decided to pick Bisaccia to take over because taking Gus Bradley from the defense or Tom Cable from the O-Line would have been too disruptive. I’m not joking.

Mark Davis has been running the team since 2011 and he has gotten the team to the playoffs twice, as wild cards, and lost both times in his ten seasons (of ‘excellence’)…not a playoff win in his era. Prior to that the Raiders, under Al Davis, hadn’t won the division or been to the playoffs since 2002. 2022 will be the 20th year marking the last time the Raiders won the AFC West.

Mark Davis has been a football loser, a failure for the past decade. His father was out of touch and a failure for the prior decade to that. Josh McDaniels has failed everywhere he’s been away from Bill Belichick.

What could go wrong with this collection of failures…I mean ‘commitment to excellence’?

Josh McDaniels has basically been with the Patriots since 2001/his entire NFL life. McDaniels went to John Carroll college, which may not sound like much -- but a lot of football bluebloods/sons of coaches who would be future coaches or execs in the NFL went to school/played football there. McDaniels dad was a legendary Ohio high school football coach, and he pulled a favor with Nick Saban to get his post-college graduate son onto the Michigan State staff (grad assistant). McDaniels used that connection to get over to join the Patriots and has been a Patriots’ soldier from there.

McDaniels got his first free ride on the Belichick/Tom Brady coattails in 2009-2010, when he was named the Denver Broncos head coach…and failed miserably. He had an (11-17) record that was bolstered by Tim Tebow’s miracle season (where they kept winning games inexplicably, while looking atrocious doing so). McDaniels actually started his coaching career (6-0) and then went (5-17) to finish. He was fired mid 2010…because he was awful, the players and all employees hated him, they were losing…and he got caught up in a video taping of a walkthrough scandal…again (you forgot that he was fired after a Denver videotaping scandal happened…after the Patriots one was already exposed).

McDaniels then ‘landed on his feet’ to be the Rams O-C the following season, where he coordinated the league’s #32 scoring offense. But because McDaniels is in the Belichick mafia…he knows where dead bodies are buried…he was brought back to New England to ‘coordinate’ Tom Brady. Tough gig.

In-between all that we had the ‘named new head coach of the Colts, then backed out after the announcement, and burned that organization’ scandal. He ditched the Colts to stay in New England when they promised they’d finally groom him to be a head coach. Like what were they doing with him the prior decades?

It’s all so disgusting to me. This guy deserves nothing more than a thousand other coaches do. Actually, McDaniels deserves nothing -- his entire history in the league is checkered, and he’s ‘ass’ personally…to those who will speak up about it. McDaniels is an opportunist, a connected/loyal foot soldier who is going to Las Vegas to steal another round of large paychecks because he had a front row seat to watch Tom Brady be great (and what does it say that Brady is playing his best ball AWAY from McDaniels?) and helped Bill Belichick bury dead bodies the prior two decades. Mark Davis is a ‘mark’ for this current caper.

And if you don’t think it’s a caper, Davis also hired McDaniels’ long-time friend and also John Carroll college buddy, ex-Patriots personnel department coffee fetcher Dave Zeigler as the GM. The two John Carroll buddies will stay connected for as long as they can…for as long as they can grift off of Mark Davis.

People/players, by and large, hate Josh McDaniels as a coach/boss. He’s an entitled, arrogant, ____...if you ask me. Does he know how to organize a practice and a playbook and blow a whistle and run staff meetings, and ‘coach’ a game, etc.? Sure. He’s been around how to functionally do the job for a long time -- but it doesn’t mean he’s any good at the CEO part -- scouting, play calling, personnel, building trust, picking starters, attracting free agents. But he knows how to wear a visor and go out and yell at players, who have to respect him because he used to coach for the Patriots -- it’s a Matt Patricia, Eric Mangini-esque situation all over again.

If you had any hope for thinking maybe McDaniels learned a lesson and the new GM was a whiz kid…you need look no further than arguably the worst NFL Draft class of 2022 and a free agency session throwing big money at any player who used to be with the Patriots.

Raiders Nation…you’re in for a few more years of barren seasons. Hope you enjoyed the 2021 playoff run.


Josh McDaniels’ impact on Fantasy Football…

It’s simple…you have to assume this will be a cheap forgery/duplicate of the Patriots (way).

 -- The offense will be restrictive…a heavy run game offense with an RBBC between Jacobs-Drake and some Zamir White, who will be given a chance to push Jacobs.

 -- Derek Carr and Davante Adams will be allowed to do what they want, kinda, for 2022…and then when the team fails/finishes last in the division, McDaniels will change up everything and try to break the chain and both Carr-Adams will hate a situation they currently love, because they think they orchestrated a similar heist that McDaniels-Zeigler did on Las Vegas.

I’m taking Adams’ Dynasty valuation down a tick…on what 2023+ might look like.

 -- Darren Waller and Hunter Renfrow may be left out in the cold of a stuffy offense, and Carr wearing out his BFF Adams..

 -- McDaniels’ offenses, outside of Belichick-Brady, have been abject failures…and yet he thinks he’s an offensive genius (likely screaming to his QB/offense a version of -- just do it like Tom Brady does, geez…it’s not that hard). So, I would not bet heavily on any great FF performance to pop out of this system…except Davante Adams getting a lot of targets from Carr in 2022. McDaniels will try and correct that in 2023…good luck trying to have a power struggle with Carr-Adams. McDaniels will win it, but at a terrible price.


Simply put, the Raiders have been a TERRIBLE organization for two decades now. Mark Davis is one of the least competent owners in the league. Josh McDaniels has been a failure away from New England. And Derek Carr and Davante Adams think they have a thing going…but when the team fails in 2022, Carr will be blamed and if I read the contract right…Las Vegas can cut Carr quite easily in January 2023, and they just might -- and that will set-off Davante Adams and this whole thing becomes a messy rebuild with a head coach no one wants to play for.

Other than that, the future looks bright in Las Vegas!


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About R.C. Fischer

R.C. Fischer is a fantasy football player analyst for Fantasy Football Metrics and College Football Metrics. 

Email rc4metrics@gmail.com

Learn more about RC and the Fantasy Football Metrics system >>