The Raiders are playing in the Hall of Fame Game this week because 2022 inductees Cliff Branch and Richard Seymour were members of the team, but that’s not the only strong connection to Canton that will be in play this week.
Head coach Josh McDaniels grew up in the city and played high school football for his father at Canton McKinley High School. The team played games at the same stadium the Raiders will be playing in against the Jaguars on Thursday and McDaniels’ father will be on hand to watch him patrol the same sidelines that he did in the past.
“It’ll be really an experience. Surreal is probably a good word for it,” McDaniels said, via the team’s website. “Thinking that he was coaching me and correcting me and calling plays for me many, many years ago. . . . My family has spent a lot of nights there over many, many years, so it’s a special place for us.”
McDaniels and the rest of the Raiders staff will be evaluating players in a game situation for the first time this week, so there’s more going on than a walk down memory lane but that walk will likely take some precedence once the team first takes the field in their coach’s hometown.