The Las Vegas Raiders fired head coach Josh McDaniels on Halloween night, but McDaniels’ reaction to a pre-practice meeting between players, coaches and himself five days earlier reportedly led players to believe his time in Vegas was almost over.
According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the meeting took place hours before Thursday’s practice. The players reportedly called it a “Kumbaya meeting.” But it appears to be even more brutal, with players and coaches taking turns “tearing” McDaniels over nearly every aspect of his coaching style. McDaniels reportedly didn’t say much during the meeting as he listened to complaints about how he overcorrected problems on the field, constantly blamed players for problems with game play, and held unnecessarily long meetings, among other things.
At practice a few hours later, McDaniels reportedly tried to capitalize on player feedback by playing music and allowing the practice to proceed without commentary. But according to Rapoport McDaniels was “a shell of himself” after the team meeting. The contrast in his behavior was reportedly so “stark” that it apparently felt like McDaniels wasn’t really there. With that in mind, it’s no surprise that the Raiders’ 26-14 loss to the Detroit Lions on Monday night sealed his fate. The entire organization reportedly agreed with his dismissal.
Rapoport reported on the meeting several days before McDaniel’s firing. Describe the players’ tone as “passionate.” This new report adds a lot more detail to that, as we now know that “passionate” was a more long-winded term for “very angry with McDaniels.” The meeting was originally described as “cathartic,” but now we know it was cathartic for the players and coaches and definitely not for McDaniels.
The Raiders play their first game of the post-McDaniels era on Sunday at 4:25 p.m. In Antonio Pierce’s debut as interim coach of the Raiders, they face the New York Giants.