All-Pro wide receiver Davante Adams is in the midst of his second season with the Las Vegas Raiders, but he has not exactly had the smoothest experience so far.
He has previously been vocal about the direction of the Raiders’ offense, and he now has to contend with a major shakeup in the front office and the coaching staff.
Head coach Josh McDaniels and general manager David Ziegler were both fired earlier this week.
Offensive coordinator Mick Lombardi was also reportedly dismissed, and linebackers coach Antonio Pierce was elevated to the interim coaching position. In light of the recent changes, Adams addressed the notion the Raiders are happy McDaniels will no longer be on the sidelines.
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“Don’t get it confused,” Adams said Thursday during a news conference. “It’s not a celebration that we have a new coach and that there’s been changes made.”
But the six-time Pro Bowler did acknowledge the sweeping changes forced the team to adjust its mentality, something Adams believes the team needed.
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“Obviously, I think it was time. One way or the other, it was time for some sort of change just to bring a little juice in and revitalize the team a little bit,” Adams said. “I think it’s more of a mindset that we’re trying to — not force but just moving forward to try to be as positive as possible.”
Despite engineering a successful offense for more than a decade in New England, McDaniels seemed to never be able to get the Raiders’ offense on track. Las Vegas was one of the least productive teams in the NFL in red zone efficiency.
Adams finished the past two seasons with more the 1,500 receiving yards, but he is on pace for a significantly lower output this season. In the Raiders’ loss to the Lions Monday night, Adams finished the game with just one catch for 11 yards.
Adams suggested the team is putting an emphasis on having fun for the remainder of the season.
“We have a thing put in place where the stakes are different now, but we have an opportunity to change it,” Adams said. “That’s the mindset we’re having, just trying to have fun and enjoy our time in this building. Because I think as we speak to each other, it’s been feeling like work too much and not having enough fun, so we’ve just got to get back to that.”
During his introductory press conference, Pierce also confirmed that veteran quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo will be benched in favor of rookie Aidan O’Connell. Garoppolo was the Raiders’ biggest offseason acquisition and signed a three-year deal with the team. However, the oft-injured quarterback has not lived up to expectations.
Adams did thank McDaniels and Ziegler for bringing him to the Raiders. He also reaffirmed his desire to work through the obstacles in Las Vegas.
“As I’ve said countless times, I want to be a Raider and I want to make this work,” Adams said.
At 3-5, the Raiders could still turn their season around, but they will need to start winning soon. Las Vegas hosts the New York Giants Sunday.