Josh McDaniels: I failed in Denver because I didn’t know how to work with people

ENGLEWOOD ,CO--OCTOBER 26TH 2010--Denver Broncos head coach, Josh McDaniels, during his press conference at Dove Valley Tuesday morning. Andy Cross, The Denver Post
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New Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels says he has grown and matured since the last time he was a head coach.

McDaniels went 11-17 before he was fired during his second season as head coach of the Broncos in 2010, and he said at his introductory press conference in Las Vegas that he’s not the same man he was then.

“When I went to Denver, I knew a little bit of football,” McDaniels said. “I didn’t really know people and how important that aspect of this process, and maintaining the culture and building the team was. And I failed, and I didn’t succeed at it. Looking at that experience has been one of the best things in my life in terms of my overall growth as a person, as a coach. What do I need to do different, how do I need to handle my role, if I have another opportunity, and do better at it? I feel like that’s really an area that I’ve tried to grow in.”

McDaniels says that after returning to New England to become the Patriots’ offensive coordinator again, he focused on getting better at collaborating with other coaches.

“I know how important it is for a head coach to be able to do that,” McDaniels said.

McDaniels has always been well-regarded as an offensive game planner. The Raiders are hoping he has now learned the other skills that a head coach needs.

82 responses to “Josh McDaniels: I failed in Denver because I didn’t know how to work with people

  1. This bronco fan believes him. We all grow up as we progress through life some of us faster than others. You can see things like this in only-child families, where the youngster is used to getting his or her way as opposed to my world where I had six sisters. I was bullied by girls until I could fight back. So I would argue that the mistake was in hiring young Josh in the first place not Josh for accepting the position.

  2. Wishing him the best. Unlike Denver he will have a good QB this time from the start. He’s a great architect of an offense that fits his talent pool. sadly Denver will be doomed as long as JE is involved, the guy has bad judgement as an executive.

  3. You did not fail Josh….simply learned. Just like every other human being in this world.

    Live and Learn

  4. Folks should not sleep on this hire he and Ziegler means they are aligned and there is talent on the raiders even without their first round picks from 2020 and 2021. See what they do in the draft. This could be an exciting team to watch in 2022. I predict a 10 win season.

  5. He still has not learned. You learn how to work with people in kindergarten. Its comes naturally. The most successful coaches are people persons and the most successful coach in Raider history was one…John Madden.

  6. Having a good quarterback will help, too. I can’t think of a head coach whose success lasted more than a season or two who didn’t have stability at the quarterback position. Okay, Joe Gibbs. The exception that proves the rule. McDaniels is in a good situation in Vegas with Carr under center. No guarantee of success; NFL head coach is probably the hardest job in sports. But I like his chances.

  7. The Hurricane Josh are legendary! I hope the Raiders fail every year, but I think they just assured that in this hire.

  8. McDaniels is going to a good team with a good QB. I fully expect that he has matured as a coach and will put his team in a position to compete for years. LV is very fortunate.

  9. I’d say getting caught video taping another team’s practice probably didn’t help either.

  10. This is true of all Pats assistants as head coaches, prime examples being Patricia & Flores.
    At least McDaniel’s admitted it.
    Problem is they go to other teams thinking they are BB.

  11. Decent humility from McDaniels to kick off. Still think it’s a lot to change someone who doesn’t understand other humans into a leader. Have seen many fail.

  12. I believe he’s a good hire. As a fan, I wish the Bears would have hired him to develop Justin Fields. Raiders got a renewed head coach and will do well.

  13. Mixed feelings as a Pats fan to see him go but overall happy for him and for us fans to see some new offensive blood infused into the team. It’s fair to say in over 10 years he’s changed, matured, and learned more, something all of us can hopefully say over a span that long.

  14. Well that is the understatemem of the decade.

    Maybe the thing also is to check your ego at the door that made you want Tebow in the first round. That ego is dangerous if ya let that out again.

  15. Raider Nation is just hoping this doesn’t set the franchise back another 4 years, if he even lasts that long

  16. When Josh McDaniels went to Denver back in the day, he was a pompous, know it all, young punk who understood football theory very well and had no idea what he didn’t know. Initially, he appeared to be a wunderkind and won his first six games or so before alienating everyone around him, both coaches and players. Predictably, things quickly fell apart and he never recovered before getting fired. It is possible that he was just in older version of himself but it is also possible that he has found a new level of maturity, wisdom and understanding of what it takes to be a leader. If that is the case, there’s no reason why he can’t find sustained success that eluded him in Denver.

  17. I have made fun of this hire to my friends, but I really wouldn’t be surprised if he succeeds. He’s like an entrepreneur who went bankrupt with his first business venture. If he was able to properly learn the lessons of why he failed, he could be successful in his second stint as a head coach.

    Should be interesting.

  18. This happens to a lot of Belichick assistants because they think they act like him when they’re not him.

  19. The Belichick coaching tree is full of broken branches. Don’t look for him to do much with the Raiders.

  20. Let’s see if Patricia can learn the same thing. Just because you are a literal rocket scientist doesn’t mean you will succeed. It is all about people and reaching them. You can have all the answers in the world, but if no one listens to you it is worthless.

  21. How many years has he worked in New England? Actions speak louder than words. It gets harder to be a Raiders fan every year.

  22. He failed at Denver because he didn’t have Tom Brady as his quarterback, and his hubris caused him to draft Tim Tebow. He isn’t going to have Tom Brady in Las Vegas either

  23. Congrats to Raiders fans. There are pieces in place and Josh is aggressive on offense. It will be real interesting to see the 1st draft and especially what they do in the 1st round.

  24. Yeah, because working under Bill Belichick is the best place to learn about collaboration. The problem McDaniels had in Denver was he came in with Belichick’s “my way or the highway” approach but he didn’t have Belichick‘s pedigree. Blowing off the Colts the way he did a few years ago doesn’t indicate much improvement. We’ll see if anything’s changed over the last decade or so, but I can’t say I’m rooting for the guy.

  25. It does sound as if Josh has learned from his past mistakes. Meanwhile, in Kansas City, ol’ Andy is still flubbing game management, just like he always has.

    Expect Josh to dominate this division in short order.

  26. He was a self righteous person who obviously didn’t know more than everyone else. Time will tell if working on being better person was successful.

  27. If anywhere was the right place for him to learn how to make the best of a second chance at being HC it was NE. BB had a rough run with the Browns (although who wouldn’t have at that point in time?) and went back under Parcells’ wing for a while before blossoming in NE. Josh do the same thing? Maybe. But he should have learned a lot of the right lessons on how to do it better right there under BB.

  28. Sounds great but it’s in a scorpion’s nature to sting you despite any pleas to the contrary.

  29. That’s fair. I have respect for that level of introspection. Let’s hope he has indeed grown.

  30. Good luck Josh, hope it works out well for you and the team. Presently here in NE the temperature 1s in thelow teens and we have over foot of snow on the ground. Vegas has got to better than this.

  31. Pats fans laughed when they hired someone so inexperienced at the time. These other cheating franchises get what is coming to them hiring Pats assistants, really with the main goal trying to weaken NE.

    Manboobs, Flores…1 year as a coordinator isn’t enough.

    McDaniels is way more ready now than he was a decade ago , obviously. We shall see.

  32. As a long time NE fan, I wish him luck. It would have to be an INCREDIBLE offer for me to leave the New England area for the dry sands and neon lights of Las Vegas. Hopefully, they continue to get power from Hoover Dam while he’s there!
    But, I am also eager for a change in NE: some of JD’s calls were head scratchers and I was caught shouting at McD on the TV all the time. He adapted to using screens and motion sweeps but sometimes, his critical calls lacked creativity. Looking forward to 2022 and Mac Jones.

  33. vavikingfan says:
    February 1, 2022 at 6:25 am
    How did he get where he was without knowing how to work with others?
    He was very young and an offensive coordinator. There’s an entire different and higher level of soft skills between an offensive coordinator and a head coach. Offensive coordinator is much more technical. Design the plays. Tell others where they need to be on each play. Any big conflict with others you have the head coach to break the tie.

    You see this in plenty of other occupations. In software you see great programmers who are made managers because they’re great programmers but come to find out they’re not great with working with people. They may do ok when they’re individual contributors but when they have to manage multiple people it’s a whole new skillset.

  34. drgfri says:
    February 1, 2022 at 5:10 am
    Unlike Denver he will have a good QB this time from the start

    ???? When Mcdaniels came to town, Denver had 3rd year Cutler who was fresh off his first Pro Bowl and leading the conference in yards. At the time, his ceiling was considered nearly unlimited.

  35. This might work out well for the Raiders. The ability to honestly assess your past failings and correct them is the key to future success. Losers blame others. Winners look inward for answers.

  36. It wasn’t Josh’s fault he failed in Denver. It is hard to win without Belichick and Brady. Maybe he can coax Tebow out of retirement just like Urban Meyer did. But to come back as a quarterback of course. None of that tight end nonsense.

  37. Crennel, Charlie Weis, McDaniels – this isn’t the Belichick “TREE”. Perhaps it is more like a “BUSH”?

  38. McDaniels was truly a disaster in Denver. His first move as GM/HC? Trade the franchise QB because he didn’t think Cutler could play in his system. He never saw Cutler take a snap running his offense, but felt confident enough to start looking for trades. McDaniels’ arrogance was astounding. Luckily after he was fired, Elway was able to pick up the pieces by drafting brilliantly (drafted 5 of the 11 starters on the SB50 defense) and of course, convincing Peyton Manning to come to Denver. Had PFM not came, the McDaniels fallout could have lasted nearly a decade.

  39. If his Raiders beat the Patriots in 2022 hopefully he’ll go easy with the fist pumps. He looked like a complete doofus when he did that last time.

  40. He failed in Denver because he’s an arrogant jerk. More than likely he’s still an arrogant jerk so he’ll fail again. He might be a good OC but that might be his ceiling.

  41. Yeah you got fired for video taping other teams’ practices. You also drafted Tebow in the first round. I’m sure Jay Cutler appreciates your sentiment though.

  42. “Josh McDaniels: I failed in Denver because I didn’t know how to work with people”

    He still doesn’t know how to work with people. I feel bad for Denver fans.

  43. drgfri says:
    February 1, 2022 at 5:10 am
    Wishing him the best. Unlike Denver he will have a good QB this time from the start. He’s a great architect of an offense that fits his talent pool. sadly Denver will be doomed as long as JE is involved, the guy has bad judgement as an executive

    This is rubbish!
    He had a QB that was better then Carr & traded him away. Along with 3 more pro bowl offensive players.
    All Elway and his bad judgment has done since becoming an NFL executive is convince & sign Peyton Manning & DeMarcus Ware, draft Von Miller, help the Broncos get to 2 Super Bowls & win Super Bowl 50.
    Since he’s been an executive, how many playoff games have the Raiders and their “better qb” even won?
    Nice cheap shot but it doesn’t hold water.
    The Raiders will fall right back into their usual spot of fake contenders & the myopia of a teams fan base that seems to think they were in the Super Bowl every year will continue.
    You can tell yourself John Elway is the problem with the Broncos, but in reality, 2 Super Bowls in the short time he’s been in the front office is a problem all but maybe 3 or 4 franchises wish they had.
    Good luck with Josh the cheater as your HC.
    No, really!

  44. From a distance, I thought Bisaccia had ’em going and it looks like a kick in the stones for his efforts. Good on Josh for maturing, but this smells weird unless they just don’t like Carr talking to his close neighbor and want a New System ™.

  45. I’m sure ego played a big part in the Denver debacle, but let’s not also forget the key cardinal sins of A) trading up to grab Tim Freaking Tebow at the end of the first round, and B) videotaping the opposing teams practice, a flagrant rules violation right out of the Belichick playbook. Hey, perhaps he’s really learned and grown and is ready to run his own franchise, but as a Bronco fan I’m pretty pleased this is the direction the Raiders have chosen.

  46. If I’m a Broncos fan, this is exactly what I want to hear him say.

    McDaniels and I are right around the same age. Ten years ago, I took a stab at a role that had millions of dollars at stake every day and required extremely strong people skills. I did alright at it for a couple of years. Not great, not terrible. Moved on to a different role.

    Ten years later I’m in a similar, more advanced role and I’m at that top of my organization and it’s because I learned a lot and grew over that decade. A hell of a lot changes with a man from his mid 30’s to his mid 40’s, especially when it comes to his profession. I don’t pretend to know if McDaniels will succeed or fail in Denver, but he seems to be self aware and he has an extra decade of wisdom on his side. The chances of success are far higher.

  47. The record of success for former Belichick assistants has not been good. Whether McDaniels bucks that trend the second time around remains to be seen, but the odds seem to be against it.

  48. He also failed with the Rams after he was fired in Denver. People forget he went there as offensive coordinator and QB coach in 2011 and the Rams were 2-14. The Rams had just 10 passing TD. 32nd ranked passing offense. Didn’t help that Bradford missed 6 games but in 10 games he had 6td/6int under McDaniels. So in reality his only success has been with Belichick and 2021 was the only time McDaniels has been OC, QB or HC for a playoff team minus Tom Brady so remains to be seen if he is truly a good coach. Remember people said Gruden would turn Carr into a top 5 QB and the Raiders into a contender. Carr didn’t really improve at all under Gruden.

  49. Interestingly, it’s a similar situation to when he took over the Broncos. They Raiders made the playoffs this year while the Broncos team he took over had just missed them by one game. Both his shots have been with teams far more talented than what most coaches inherit.

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