New Raiders coach Josh McDaniels owes much of his career to Bill Belichick, who was his boss in New England for a total of 18 years over two stints with the Patriots. But McDaniels says that he knows he can’t run his team the exact same way that Belichick has run the Patriots for more than two decades.
“I’m not Bill [Belichick] and I can’t be. I’m just going to try to be myself and hopefully I can be a good leader for our team,” McDaniels said.
This is McDaniels’ second head-coaching job. The first one, in Denver, did not go well, and he was fired midway through his second season. McDaniels said he’s been waiting for the right fit to become a head coach again.
“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 kind 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. Then 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.”
Belichick’s assistants have not had a great track record as head coaches, and that includes McDaniels in Denver. He’s hoping that Las Vegas will be different, even as he differentiates himself from Belichick.