According to a recent report, former Las Vegas Raider head coach Josh McDaniels knew his days were numbered. Sources say the coach’s demeanour changed several days before he led the team for his last game at the helm, which was most evident during an intense team meeting on Thursday, four days before the game against the Detroit Lions.

McDaniels Looked a Shell of Himself

The players who attended the “kumbaya meeting” tried to convince the coach to “change his ways,” and he did, in his way. They also noticed that, after the meeting, McDaniels was not as involved during practice as he usually was and was more of “a bystander” than a coach.

Sources said he provided little guidance regarding plays and let things happen, leaving players to self-correct themselves. That was in stark contrast with his coaching style in previous practice sessions.

During the team meeting, many players criticized McDaniels’ methods and were backed by some coaches too. That’s because the goal of the meeting was to be open and honest about the issues that the team was trying to fix. 

Some of the problems the players and staff mentioned were the long meetings, the constant corrections by the coach, and the fact players were blamed and held accountable when play calls went wrong.

McDaniels not correcting players and deciding not to get too involved in practice was a way for the coach to change his style before it was too late. 

However, according to sources, McDaniels also looked a dejected figure on the sidelines and “a shell of himself” after the meeting. Some interpreted that as the coach trying to listen to players rather than overcoach them, while others said they felt he wasn’t there.

Antonio Pierce Will Be in Charge as Interim Head Coach

One has to wonder whether McDaniels would have been fired if the Raiders won the Monday Night Football game against the Detroit Lions. Unfortunately, the Raiders lost 26-14, with Jimmy Garoppolo, who has also subsequently been replaced as the starting quarterback, failing to connect with the wide-open Davante Adams on two occasions and the week of disjointed practice sessions had something to do with that.

In addition to firing Josh McDaniels and benching Garoppolo, the Las Vegas Raiders released general manager David Ziegler from his duties on Tuesday night. The Raiders will finish the season with Antonio Pierce as an interim head coach and assistant coach Bo Hardegree as the play-caller. As for the starting quarterback berth, rookie Aidan O’Connell will get to stake his claim and make the position his own beyond this season.