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New Raiders Coach Josh McDaniels on Past HC Struggles: ‘I Didn‘t Really Know People’

Josh McDaniels has sat up in front of a microphone and been introduced as an NFL head coach once before. As he did so for the second time in his career on Monday, he aimed to learn from his past missteps.

Speaking to reporters after officially being unveiled as the new head coach of the Raiders, McDaniels referenced his first crack at the job over a decade ago, when the Broncos hired him before the 2009 season. His stint in Denver was a disaster, with McDaniels fired 12 games into his second season after posting a combined 11–17 record. On Monday, he said he’d learned from that experience, particularly in regard to the parts of the job that didn’t have to do with football acumen.

McDaniels joined the Patriots in 2001 as a personnel assistant, eventually ascending to the role of quarterbacks coach in 2004 and offensive coordinator in 2006. He rejoined the franchise in 2012 as offensive coordinator, and has now gotten a second chance at being a head coach over a decade after his first one.

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Perhaps as a way to demonstrate his newfound people skills, McDaniels apparently ingratiated himself to team owner Mark Davis by referencing the infamous “tuck rule” play that cost the Raiders in the 2001 AFC divisional round game with the Patriots—and has now changed his tune from how he views the play over 20 years later.

“It was a fumble,” Davis said McDaniels told him, per Levi Damien of Raiders Wire. “So, Raider Nation if you’re worried, he’s already come over to the dark side.”

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