Las Vegas Raiders coach Josh McDaniels addressed the media at the NFL owners meetings in Phoenix on Monday morning. It was the first time since free agency began that the coach has spoke publicly.
Here is a quick rundown of some of the topics he addressed:
- McDaniels said the signing of veteran quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo “eases” the need to get one specific quarterback in the draft. Still, the coach said the Raiders are looking into all positions in the first round, including quarterback.
- He made it clear that the goal of the team is to have a young quarterback the team feels they can develop into a starter and made it clear drafting a quarterback is possible. He also said he is comfortable if Garoppolo’s backup this season is a rookie. He has worked with rookie backups in the past. Both Garoppolo and Jarrett Stidham were rookie backups under McDaniels’ guidance
- While acknowledging Garoppolo’s injury history (he has started a full season just once in his career), McDaniels said he is confident Garoppolo can stay on the field.
- McDaniels mentioned building through the draft often and noted how important this year’s draft is. The team has a league-high 12 draft picks with eight on the third day,
- McDaniels said it was difficult trading tight end Darren Waller, but noted the chance to get younger and get the No. 100 pick made the decision easier.
- McDaniels is excited about free-agent addition safety Marcus Epps, linebacker Robert Spillane (who got a rave review from his former Pittsburgh coach Brian Flores) and cornerback Brandon Facyson. He expects this all to start.
- McDaniels said the team needs to get more explosive and he likes what free-agent cornerback Duke Shelley brings in terms of getting his hands on the ball. He had eight passes defensed for Minnesota last season.
- McDaniels said he heard about the poor NFLPA grades he received from players in a survey. he said those are things you don’t want to hear. He did say he will talk to the team’s captains and work on improving in some areas if needed.
- McDaniels was asked if he would describe the Raiders being in a rebuild. He responded by saying he is excited about the present and future of the team with more work needed to be done in the draft.
- McDaniels told reporters 2022 third-round pick Dylan Parham will remain at guard with a chance of still playing center at some point.