The offseason is a time for change in the NFL, and the New England Patriots might experience quite a bit of it this year. The Las Vegas Raiders, after all, have their eyes on three of their of their staff members.
Offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Josh McDaniels and inside linebackers coach Jerod Mayo are candidates to fill the team’s vacant head coaching job. Director of player personnel Dave Ziegler, meanwhile, is in play to become Las Vegas’ new general manager.
While both Mayo and Ziegler have already conducted interviews with the organization, McDaniels is scheduled to speak with the Raiders’ decision makers over the weekend. There is a realistic chance that at least one, if not all three of them, leave New England to take over the open positions in Las Vegas.
With that said, McDaniels, Mayo and Ziegler are not the only men competing for those jobs. Let’s take a look at who else is in play.
Head coach: Josh McDaniels and Jerod Mayo
After already interviewing Mayo on January 25, the Raiders will talk with McDaniels on Saturday. Three non-Patriots candidates have also been tied to the team thus far.
Rich Bisaccia: Taking over as the Raiders’ interim head coach after Jon Gruden’s resignation in October, Bisaccia led the team to a 7-5 record and the fifth seed in the AFC playoffs. He interviewed for the head coaching job last week. There is some buzz that he might be headed to Chicago if he does not become Las Vegas’ permanent HC.
Todd Bowles: Bowles interviewed with the Raiders on Thursday. The 58-year-old brings considerable experience to the table: not only did he serve as defensive coordinator in Philadelphia, Arizona and currently Tampa Bay, he also was the New York Jets’ head coach for four seasons between 2015 and 2018.
DeMeco Ryans: The Raiders have not yet interviewed Ryans, but they have sent a request to the San Francisco 49ers to do so. The long-time linebacker is coming off his fifth season as an assistant coach in the NFL, climbing up to 49ers’ coaching ladder before taking over as defensive coordinator in 2021. With San Francisco still in the playoffs, however, Las Vegas would have to wait to bring Ryans on board.
When it comes to coaching experience, Mayo would be on the bottom of the list. While taking a similar road as Ryans, he has only spent three years as an assistant coach and none as a coordinator.
McDaniels, meanwhile, would be on the other end of the spectrum: he is coming off his 18th season with the Patriots and was the offensive coordinator for three Super Bowl-winning teams. He also had a brief but unsuccessful stint as the Denver Broncos’ head coach between 2009 and 2010.
General manager: Dave Ziegler
The Raiders interviewed Ziegler for their vacant general manager gig on January 21. As opposed to McDaniels and Mayo, he faces a lot more competition.
Champ Kelly: The Chicago Bears’ assistant director of player personnel, Kelly has some experience working with Josh McDaniels: the two spent time at the Broncos together. Kelly left Denver in 2015 to take over as Chicago’s director of pro scouting; two years later he was promoted to his current position. His interview with the Raiders took place last week.
Trey Brown: A scouting assistant and area scout for the Patriots between 2010 and 2012, Brown spent some time in Philadelphia, the AAFC and the XFL before taking on his current scouting position with the Bears. Like Champ Kelly, he interviewed with the Raiders last week.
Ed Dodds: Dodds has served as the Indianapolis Colts’ assistant general manager for the last four seasons, but his experience goes beyond that. He also spent time in Seattle and as an intern for the Raiders in the early 2000s. Dodds also interviewed with the Bears, but he did not get that job. His interview in Las Vegas took place last week as well.
Ruston Webster: A long-time member of the front offices in Tampa Bay, Seattle and Tennessee, Webster has spent the last six years as a scout for the Atlanta Falcons. He does have some general manager experience as well: between 2012 and 2015, he served as the Titans’ GM.
Brandon Hunt: Like Webster, Hunt interviewed with the Raiders this week. The Pittsburgh Steelers’ pro scouting coordinator of the last 12 seasons, Hunt is responsible for “scouting Steelers’ opponents and evaluating pro players.” He also spent time as a pro scout for the Houston Texans before his arrival in Pittsburgh.
Dwayne Joseph: Joseph would be an in-house replacement. The 49-year-old spent the last three seasons as Las Vegas’ director of pro scouting. Before joining the Raiders, he spent time in Chicago, Miami and Philadelphia — serving as the Eagles’ director of pro personnel during their 2017 Super Bowl run.
John Spytek: Spytek’s interview has not yet taken place, but he is still supposed to talk to the Raiders. The Buccaneers’ vice president of player personnel, Spytek has been with Tampa Bay for the last six seasons and has 18 years of NFL service on his résumé. Before joining his current team, he also spent time in Denver, Philadelphia, Cleveland and Detroit.
Those seven plus Ziegler have been in the discussion for the Raiders’ GM position as of Friday morning. There are other potential candidates as well, however, including former Patriots national scout DuJuan Daniels, who left to join Las Vegas in 2019.