Duane Burleson / AP
Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2023 | 10:42 p.m.
The latest Raiders’ general manager/head coaching duo lasted fewer than two years and only 25 games.
Team owner Mark Davis announced the firing of coach Josh McDaniels and general manager Dave Ziegler late Tuesday night, about 24 hours after the Raiders’ latest — and final — embarrassing performance under their watch.
“After much thought about what the Raiders need to move forward, I have decided to part ways with Joh and Dave,” Davis said in a statement. “I want to thank them both for their hard work, and wish them and their families nothing but the best.”
Las Vegas lost 26-14 to Detroit on Monday Night Football, mustering only 157 yards of total offense and an average of 3.5 yards per play, to drop its second straight and fall to 3-5 on the season.
Davis had apparently seen enough.
Linebackers coach Antonio Pierce, who won a Super Bowl as hard-hitting defender with the 2008-2009 New York Giants, will take over as interim coach according to ESPN. But the team would neither confirm Pierce’s appointment nor comment on the vacant general manager position.
McDaniels and Ziegler depart Las Vegas having compiled a 9-16 record, far below expectations for a team that made the playoffs in the season before they took over.
Davis preached patience with McDaniels and Ziegler after a 6-11 season a year ago even with the fan base growing increasingly frustrated. But the team has looked undoubtedly worse this season, despite starting the year 3-3 and McDaniels promising progress, to expedite the change in direction.
The Raiders are a bottom five offense in every category despite being the sixth highest-paid unit in the league. McDaniels’ handpicked free-agent quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo, leads the NFL with nine interceptions despite having missed 2.5 games.
McDaniels and Ziegler arrived in Las Vegas as a tight-knit pair dating back to their days as college roommates at John Carroll University in Northern Ohio through long Super Bowl-winning tenures with the New England Patriots. They insisted they weren’t trying to implement “the Patriot Way” in the desert publicly, but their actions said otherwise.
They put together a splashy first offseason by acquiring a pair of perennial Pro Bowlers in wide receiver Davante Adams and edge rusher Chandler Jones. But the latter underperformed in his first season with the team and was released this season after a series of bizarre social-media posts and a pair of domestic violence arrests.
Adams has been unhappy all season after he came to Las Vegas initially in part to play with “best friend” quarterback Derek Carr, whom clashed with McDaniels and was benched late last year before being cut in the offseason. Last year’s leader in NFL receiving touchdowns with 18 now hasn’t scored in five straight games.
He was held to one catch for seven yards against the Lions and erupted in anger on the sideline. There was much speculation that Adams could have been moved ahead of today’s NFL trade deadline but Ziegler reportedly informed teams the Raiders weren’t open to parting ways with their star receiver.
Little did he and McDaniels know that they would instead be on their way out of town on the same day. The Raiders are scheduled to begin practice and preparations tomorrow at their Henderson headquarters for a Sunday home game against the New York Giants.
Pierce, Garoppolo and Adams are expected to speak in a news conference.
This is a developing story. Check back to lasvegassun.com later for more coverage.