Sports. Honestly. Since 2011

Where the Raiders Got Better & Worse This Off-Season

The Las Vegas Raiders overhauled their staff. Heading into the 2024 season, there are certain places where the Raiders got better and worse.
Raiders Off-Season

The Las Vegas Raiders organization underwent significant changes in certain places after the 2023 season. Looking at the roster and coaching staff, there are a few places where the Raiders got better and worse.

The Areas Where the Raiders Got Better & Worse This Off-Season

Front Office & Coaching: Better

It’s not a stretch to say that the Josh McDaniels experiment in Las Vegas did not work out. McDaniels only lasted 25 games with the Raiders, and there were few high points in his tenure as head coach. Moving on from Derek Carr came with bitter feelings at the end for Carr, and the Raiders are still searching for a franchise quarterback. McDaniels was hired in conjunction with Dave Ziegler and the two suffered the same fate from owner Mark Davis at the start of November last year. The team pivoted to Antonio Pierce, who was given a chance to show he could be the guy for the Raiders. Players spoke publicly about the change being necessary, and the spark Pierce gave the Raiders showed up in their win-loss record.

The Raiders hired Pierce as head coach just days before hiring Tom Telesco as General Manager. Telesco shaped many talented Los Angeles Chargers rosters but never saw his teams make it over the hump. In Las Vegas, Pierce and Telesco have the making for a solid nucleus of young talent. The team purged talent in the off-season but appears to be heading in the right direction. Telesco’s eye for talent and the proven ability of Pierce to galvanize his players should make for a quality pairing in Las Vegas.

Offense: Better

This mark is a result of addition by subtraction. The Raiders moved on from Jimmy Garopolo and Hunter Renfrow after the 2023 season. Doing so helped the team clear necessary cap, which they used elsewhere to sign marquee players in free agency. Renfrow’s production had dipped while Garoppolo failed to meet the expectations of his lofty contract with the team. By moving to Aidan O’Connell, the team at least was able to gauge the talent they had at quarterback. Adding Gardner Minshew raises the floor of what this offense can be, and Minshew has made the most of his opportunities as a starter in the NFL. Whether it’s O’Connell or Minshew who wins the job, the team is in better hands than they were for most of 2023.

Adding another wide receiver would have helped boost the outlook for Las Vegas. While drafting Brock Bowers in the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft was a surprise, his presence should help boost this offense. Bowers can be a mismatch at the NFL level with his blend of speed, power, and vision in the open field. Las Vegas rolled the dice on Michael Gallup, who could become a solid contributor in 2024. The offensive line could look more promising, but the team used two high draft picks to help fortify the unit. While the quarterback position is uncertain, the rest of the pieces in place should help the Raiders improve from a rough pair of seasons.

Defense: Better

Landing a prize in free agency like Christian Wilkins will automatically help a team’s outlook moving forward. A player of Wilkins’ caliber rarely hits the open market, and he instantly makes the Raiders defense better. With Maxx Crosby needing a running mate, Wilkins could make the defensive line in the desert downright scary. Tyree Wilson has to capitalize on a positive end to his rookie season, but the trio has serious potential. Adding Tommy Eichenberg in the draft was a strong fit for the team and the rookie could make an impact early.

Marcus Epps is another player who can build on a strong finish to last season, and the safety gives the Raiders an important piece for their secondary. The secondary is still a work in progress, but the Raiders saw solid production out of players like Marcus Epps and Jack Jones last season. Jones has a chance to be a key fixture on the defense, and the team has embraced him. Another step forward from Wilson could help the team reach new heights, but the pieces are there for Las Vegas to continue trending in the right direction on defense.

Main Photo: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports


More Posts

Send Us A Message