“After much thought about what the Raiders need to move forward, I have decided to part ways with Josh and Dave,” owner Mark 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.”
The Raiders plan to name linebackers coach Antonio Pierce as their interim head coach, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Assistant general manager Champ Kelly will take on the interim role with Ziegler’s departure.
Davis did not offer further comment when contacted by ESPN.
The moves come one day after the Raiders lost 26-14 to the Detroit Lions on “Monday Night Football,” dropping the team to 3-5 this season.
McDaniels was in his second season leading the Raiders after signing a six-year contract in January 2022. He has over four full years left on the deal that Las Vegas is obligated to pay.
McDaniels concludes his Raiders tenure with a 9-16 record and no playoff appearances, the third-worst record of any Raiders coach with at least 25 games.
McDaniels was hired following the 2021 season when Davis opted not to keep interim coach Rich Bisaccia on for the full-time job even after he led the team to a surprising playoff run.
McDaniels and Ziegler were aggressive in their first offseason, trading first and second-round picks for Davante Adams, giving a big free agent contract to defensive end Chandler Jones and extending the contracts of Derek Carr, Maxx Crosby, Darren Waller and Hunter Renfrow.
But those moves didn’t lead to positive results on the field as McDaniels never was able to build the high-powered offense Davis expected when he hired him and struggled to win games.
The Raiders lost a record-tying five games after taking double-digit leads, including blowing a 20-0 halftime lead in his home debut against Arizona for the biggest collapse in franchise history. Las Vegas lost to Indianapolis in the Colts’ first game with Jeff Saturday as interim coach after he had never coached above high school level and then lost to Baker Mayfield and the Rams two days after Mayfield joined his new team.
McDaniels benched Carr late last season and eventually cut him in the offseason, giving the Raiders no return for a starting quarterback who ended up getting a $150 million contract from New Orleans.
McDaniels brought in his former pupil in New England, Jimmy Garoppolo, as the new starting quarterback and the offense severely regressed, becoming the first team since 2009 to score less than 20 points on offense in each of the first eight games of the season.
The last two weeks were particularly humbling as Las Vegas lost 30-12 to Chicago and undrafted rookie former Division II quarterback Tyson Bagent and then looked completely inept Monday night’s loss at Detroit.
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