HENDERSON, Nev. -- Maybe it was the clenched-teeth emoji that running back Josh Jacobs posted on Twitter, only to quickly delete it, that gave a knee-jerk reaction glimpse into the Las Vegas Raiders' locker room.
Indeed, Raiders players and employees seemed initially stunned at Sunday reports of the oft-individualistic Raiders going outside the Silver and Black box and taking on the Patriot Way with the package deal of general manager Dave Ziegler, whose hiring was announced by the team, and coach Josh McDaniels, who is expected to be introduced as soon as Monday.
Especially given how late in the hiring game McDaniels was brought to the table but, perhaps more curious, how much owner Mark Davis valued Raiders ties in his previous hires. Because neither Ziegler nor McDaniels have a link to the Raiders -- unless you count McDaniels' NFL coaching career beginning with New England in 2001 and him being a personnel assistant when the Patriots won the Tuck Rule Game against the Raiders -- but both carry plenty of buzz ... and questions.
Primarily -- what does it all mean for the franchise quarterback? Because remember, Carr is entering the final year of his contract and his brother David last week went on a national radio show to say Derek might not want to be part of another rebuild, that he simply needed more parts around him ... while also saying he was not speaking for Derek.
Confused? Get this, then.
The most polarizing player in franchise history might now be directed by the most polarizing coach in recent NFL history.
Because beyond players and staffers being taken aback by the news, fans have also seemingly divided into two diametrically opposed camps.
There are those who are thrilled with Davis going outside of the organization to find new blood to fix the Raiders' red zone offense, in particular. Under McDaniels last season, the New England Patriots had the sixth-best red zone offense in terms of points per drive (the Raiders were 26th) and the 11th-best TD percentage in red zone drives (the Raiders were 27th).
And McDaniels had a rookie quarterback in Mac Jones, who was named to the Pro Bowl on Sunday night (Carr has been named to three Pro Bowls but none since 2017, though he just passed for a career-high 4,804 yards). McDaniels has also been a part of all six Patriots Super Bowl-winning teams.
Then there are those who point to McDaniels flaming out in less than two seasons as head coach of the Denver Broncos -- granted, 12 years ago -- and his proximity to videotaping controversies when with the Patriots and Broncos while hoping he pulls another okie doke, like he did on the Indianapolis Colts after accepting their head coaching job in 2018.
As the Associated Press noted, Bill Belichick's seven assistants who have gotten head-coaching gigs elsewhere -- McDaniels, Romeo Crennel, Eric Mangini, Bill O'Brien, Matt Patricia, Brian Flores and Joe Judge -- have a combined winning percentage of only .410 with five playoff berths in 27 combined seasons. Only O'Brien (four playoff appearances) and Mangini (one) have gone to the postseason.
The Raiders, meanwhile, are that strange playoff team heading into an uncertain offseason, one likely about to undergo a rebuild under new management.
Just as soon as they get around to introducing the new regime.