Las Vegas Raiders star wideout Davante Adams isn’t celebrating after the firings of former head coach Josh McDaniels and general manager Dave Ziegler this week.
“We, obviously, think it was time, one way or the other, for some sort of change,” Adams said, according to ESPN’s Paul Gutierrez. “Just to bring a little juice in and revitalize the team a little bit.”
The Raiders promoted linebackers coach Antonio Pierce to interim head coach, while Champ Kelly was promoted to interim general manager.
Adams’ frustration with the team appeared to boil over after a loss to the Detroit Lions on Monday Night Football, in which he had a single catch for 11 yards. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo missed on two pass attempts to Adams that could’ve resulted in long touchdowns.
“I don’t know what to say at this moment. I truly don’t,” Adams told reporters postgame. “I wish I had the words to say something that’s not gonna get blown up in the media and taken out of context, so I truly just don’t know.”
The six-time Pro Bowler is on pace to have his lowest yards per reception average (11.5) since 2015. He’s posted 47 receptions for 539 yards and three touchdowns through eight games. Adams hasn’t surpassed 100 receiving yards or recorded a touchdown since Week 3.
Along with relieving McDaniels and Ziegler of their duties, the Raiders promoted quarterbacks coach Bo Hardegree to offensive coordinator. Adams will also have someone new throwing him the ball this week after the team benched Garoppolo for rookie Aidan O’Connell.
Raiders players appeared to be joking around during the team’s open-locker period Thursday, including Adams, who played one-on-one against running back Ameer Abdullah on a miniature basketball net.
“I think it’s more of a mindset that we (are) trying to – not force – but just have moving forward to just be as positive as possible. … I think that’s kind of the mindset we have,” Adams said, per NFL.com’s Eric Edholm. “Just try to have fun and enjoy our time on the field. I think, as we speak to each other, there’s been too much of this has just been feeling like work too much and not having enough fun. Just got to go back to that.”
Despite his frustrations with the team at different points in the season, Adams made sure to thank both McDaniels and Ziegler for bringing him to the organization. Las Vegas acquired Adams in a blockbuster trade with the Green Bay Packers in March 2022 and signed him to a five-year, $140-million deal.
“I just want to say I really appreciate Josh and Dave for bringing me here and going through what they went through in order to make this happen for me. And I’m really appreciative of them because if they didn’t fight as hard as they did to try to make this happen, who knows how it would’ve panned out,” he said, according to Gutierrez.
The Raiders host the New York Giants in Pierce’s coaching debut on Sunday.
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