Breaking Down Josh McDaniels’ Offensive Scheme

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Josh McDaniels has officially been hired as the Las Vegas Raiders’ next head coach and he’s known as one of the best offensive minds in the game. It’s time to take a look at what his new offense might look like in Las Vegas and how the guys currently on the roster might fit.

Rushing Philosophy

McDaniels and the Patriots operated a run-heavy offense in 2021 with rookie quarterback Mac Jones and found a lot of success. Derek Carr would benefit from an offense that takes a bit more of the load off of him to win games. Under McDaniels, the Raiders will likely move to a more gap-heavy scheme based more on power and getting blockers downfield than Greg Olson’s zone running game.

The past two years, the Patriots liked to use a lot of power and counter concepts, but more than anything they liked to run dive plays right between the center and the guard. Josh Jacobs should thrive in this system running north and south more often, and it should be a better fit for guys like John Simpson and Alex Leatherwood as well.

Passing Philosophy

McDaniels’ passing game isn’t extremely unique, as the Patriots like to attack all areas of the field in the passing game. The Patriots do like to run out of empty more than most teams and that’s because of their tendency to look for short passes over the middle utilizing the slot receiver (Wes Welker, Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola) and the tight end (Rob Gronkowski) in order to get the ball out quick.

Jakobi Meyers and Hunter Henry were the most targeted players in the Patriots offense in 2021, and the more dynamic duo of Hunter Renfrow and Darren Waller should find similar, if not more, success. Renfrow, in particular, will likely get the chance to run a lot of option routes and read defenses himself. Look for Bryan Edwards to be used much more in the short game as well, similar to the way Kendrick Bourne was used in New England.

McDaniels has produced eight top-10 offenses (three No. 1 overall) and won six Super Bowls in his time as a coach. If the issues that plagued him in his time with Denver are behind him, Raiders fans should be excited about the future.

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