An alleged shot at the Patriots appeared to play a role in the Raiders’ ouster of Josh McDaniels.
On the Thursday before McDaniels’ last game as head coach with the Raiders, there was a big “broadcast of grievances meeting” where players “just went wild” at McDaniels, according to Jay Glazer of Fox Sports. McDaniels turned to then-linebackers coach Antonio Pierce to try to ease the tension, having him speak to the players on behalf of the coaching staff.
“When Antonio Pierce got there, he said, ‘Look guys, we have to have our own culture. This has to be about culture,” Glazer said on “Fox NFL Sunday.” “He brought up the old Giants team that beat the Patriots, Josh McDaniels’ team, in the Super Bowl in the 2007 season. He said, ‘No matter who we played, and we have a game plan, we can beat them . We have to believe that. That’s not here. We have to believe here at the Raiders that we can beat anyone. ”
The speech seemed to convince most of the team, as Pierce tried to get them to believe again after their 3-4 start to the season. But McDaniels was irritated by one aspect of Pierce’s speech, according to Glazer.
“Well, he finishes that speech and everyone loves it except Josh McDaniels,” Glazer said. Josh McDaniels then went up to him and said, ‘Don’t ever talk about the Patriots like that.’ That’s when we really saw how divided that building became. That came to Mark Davis and Mark Davis said, ‘I’m going to pick the guy who believes we can win every week.’
That encounter also seemed to have shaken McDaniels a bit. During practice later that day, McDaniels “wasn’t himself” and “let plays happen instead of correcting them, leaving players feeling like he was physically present but not mentally,” NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport said on “NFL GameDay.”
McDaniels, who was on the Patriots’ coaching staff from 2001 to 2008 and again from 2012 to 2021, coached one final game with the Raiders, a 23-14 loss to the Lions on Monday. McDaniels and general manager Dave Ziegler were fired by the team late Tuesday night, with Pierce named interim coach and rookie Aidan O’Connell taking over at quarterback for Jimmy Garoppolo.
The sudden firing of McDaniels, Ziegler and other coaches will cost Davis dearly. The Raiders owner will owe about $85 million to the staff members he fired earlier this week. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports this.
But Davis isn’t worried about money and is more concerned about building a winning team, Schefter added in his report. McDaniels’ tenure in Las Vegas was certainly not a winning one, with the team going 9-16 during his time at the helm.
Pierce and O’Connell will look to turn things around for the Raiders when they take on the 2-6 Giants on Sunday.
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