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Patriots Ex Josh McDaniels: “I’m Not Bill Belichick”

While head coach Josh McDaniels will be taking a bit of the New England Patriots with him to the Las Vegas Raiders, he is clear that his new team will be molded in his image.

In 2018, New England Patriots’ offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels decided to remain with the team rather than accept the head coaching position with the Indianapolis Colts.

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Mick Lombardi

Though the move sent shockwaves through the NFL, especially Indianapolis, McDaniels’ stayed in New England largely in part because head coach Bill Belichick’s desire to keep his longtime assistant in the Foxboro fold.

In fact, it was reported at the time that Belichick had offered to ‘open his world’ to McDaniels; tutoring him on the head coach’s approach to roster building, finances, the salary cap and coaching staff management.

While he will be taking a bit of that ‘world’ with him to Las Vegas, he is clear that his new team will be molded in McDaniels' image.

“I’m not Bill [Belichick] and I can’t be,” McDaniels told reporters on Thursday. “I’m just going to try to be myself and hopefully I can be a good leader for our team.”

Earlier in the offseason, Las Vegas hired McDaniels as its head coach. It did so shortly after securing the services of general manager Dave Ziegler, who has previously served as New England’s director of player personnel. McDaniels has also hired former Pats assistants Mick Lombardi (offensive coordinator), Carmen Bricillo (offensive line coach), Bo Hardegree (quarterbacks coach), who were on New England’s staff in 2021. The Raiders 2022 coaching contingent will also feature defensive coordinator Patrick Graham, senior offensive assistant Jerry Schuplinski and senior defensive assistant Rob Ryan, all of whom have spent time with the Patriots organization.

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The Raiders roster also has the potential to feature several former Patriots players. Their current 90-man roster includes quarterback Jarrett Stidham, running back Brandon Bolden, fullback Jakob Johnson, tight end Jacob Hollister, offensive lineman Jermaine Eluemunor, defensive ends Chandler Jones, Tashawn Bower and Gerri Green, cornerback Cre’Von LeBlanc and safety Duron Harmon.

Though there will be a distinct New England flavor in the Nevada desert this season, McDaniels' prowess will be where his mark will be made. The 45-year-old has routinely been lauded for his previous work with star quarterback Tom Brady during his New England tenure. He’s also been praised for last season’s efforts developing Mac Jones, a first-round draft pick from Alabama. McDaniels has three Super Bowl victories as an offensive coordinator and was part of New England’s staff for six Super Bowl wins.

This will mark McDaniels’ second experience as the man in charge of a pro team on the field. He was previously a head coach with the Denver Broncos 11 years ago. He went 8-8 in his first season after starting the year with six consecutive wins. However, he was then fired in 2010 after going 3-9 in his second campaign.

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Mac Jones

Undoubtedly, the new Raiders head coach is ready to show his growth as a head coach, as well as imparting his wisdom to his team.

“I’ve been looking forward to an opportunity like this for a couple years now and I’m so blessed to have the staff that we have and the group that we have working, and the support staff that we have around me,” said McDaniels. “They make my job easy. I’m just trying to keep us on schedule and on time and those kinds of things, but I couldn’t say enough things about the staff here. The strength and conditioning guys, the trainers, the equipment people that make this thing go – they do a tremendous job. Our coaching staff is doing a great job. They’re here real early, they’re here late at night making sure all the information is prepared.”

“I feel like I’ve learned a lot. I feel like it’s slowed down for me, for sure. Doesn’t mean anything at this point in time of the year, doesn’t have any bearing on what’s going to happen down the road, but definitely feel a comfort level now in terms of understanding what my role is and how to do it better.”