Raiders owner Mark Davis introduced Josh McDaniels and Dave Ziegler on Monday as the new head coach and general manager of the Raiders at an introductory press conference. Both men shared their visions for the team, how their past brought them to the desert, and what to expect moving forward.
Both McDaniels and Ziegler are coming directly from the New England Patriots organization where they have been under the wing of future Hall of Fame coach Bill Belichick. They’ll now have a chance to craft and mold their own football team that is coming off of a 10-7 regular season and a first-round playoff loss to the AFC Champion Cincinnati Bengals.
“I’ve been patient, I’ve been selective, maybe to a fault sometimes,” McDaniels said about taking a head coaching job. “People wanted me to do things a little earlier than maybe I did them. But it was going to take a special place for me to leave where I was, and I found that here in Las Vegas.”
McDaniels is a six-time Super Bowl champion as a member of the Patriots coaching staff that built a dynasty with Belichick and now-retired QB Tom Brady.
“We want a tough, smart football team, that’s explosive,” McDaniels said with a laugh while taking a look at Mark Davis.
“Derek (Carr) has won a lot of games in this league,” McDaniels said. “There’s no question that we have the capacity and capability of winning with Derek here, we all know that. I look forward to the challenge of trying to grow, not only Derek, but everybody on the roster to try to reach our potential. I never feel like a player is a finished product.”
The press conference shed some light on how the division of labor will work between McDaniels and Ziegler, a topic that Ziegler spoke candidly about.
“At the end of the day as the general manager and as the one leading the charge on the scouting side and personnel in college and pro, that direction will come from me in terms of the construction of the roster,” Ziegler said. “Josh and I are tied in many ways in our vision in how to build a team… at the end of the day when it’s time to make decisions on personnel, we’ll work together, but those final decisions will be made by me.”
Ziegler is a three-time Super Bowl champion and joined the Patriots organization in 2013.
No one seemed happier about the new hires than Mark Davis, who appeared visibly thrilled to be announcing his new leadership team.
“When I met Josh on Saturday, we met in the hallway as were passing before the interview process was going to start… He looked me in the eye and said, ‘It was a fumble.’ So Raider Nation, if you’re worried, he’s already come over to the dark side.”
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