It really seems as if Josh McDaniels is trying to turn the Las Vegas Raiders into The Las Vegas Patriots.
Former Patriot players have landed on both sides of the ball. This offseason, the Raiders have signed Jimmy Garoppolo, Jakobi Meyers, Phillip Dorsett, Brian Hoyer, and Adam Butler. Las Vegas already had former Patriots Brandon Bolden and Chandler Jones on the roster. Patriot players are not the only addition to the silver and black family. On the coaching side, both offensive and defensive coordinators, Mick Lombardi and Patrick Graham worked with McDaniels in New England. Graham started his coaching career with the Patriots before going to the New York Giants and Miami Dolphins. Senior offensive assistant Jerry Schuplinski becomes the sixth ex-Patriot to be hired by McDaniels.
The list of former Patriots working for the Raiders continues to grow. Wide receiver Kristian Wilkerson signed with Las Vegas on Monday. Wilkerson was Undrafted coming out of Southeast Missouri State with a total of four game appearances. Wilkerson was with the Patriots from Sept. of 2020 until his release in February 2023. His best performance in New England came in Week 17 of the 2021 season, with four catches for 42 yards and two touchdowns. He spent all of last season on injured reserve due to a concussion.
McDaniels worked as the team’s offensive coordinator for the past 10 seasons, and he also hired Mick Lombardi (offensive coordinator), Bo Hardegree (quarterbacks) and Carmen Bricillo (offensive line) straight from New England. His staff also includes former Patriots assistants Daniel Graham (defensive coordinator) and Rob Ryan (defensive assistant).
So how will this help the Raiders offense? The Raiders named the one unit for all 32 teams that improved the most this offseason. espn.com says “Adding Tyree Wilson, who had seven sacks in each of his past two seasons at Texas Tech, to a pass rush that already boasts Maxx Crosby and Chandler Jones, who have a combined 72.5 sacks and four Pro Bowl appearances since 2019, is making a strength even stronger.”