When Josh McDaniels left the Patriots to become the Raiders head coach, he left a big void.
But he also took several assistants to Las Vegas, which in many ways created an even bigger coaching problem.
Head coach Bill Belichick has installed famed former Lions head coach Matt Patricia as New England’s offensive line coach and he has called up the most plays during training camp and preseason. But as the QBs coach, former Giants head coach Joe Judge has also done his share of the game — just like Belichick himself, reportedly.
With the Patriots in Southern Nevada for joint training with the Raiders this week, McDaniels was asked what he thinks of how the Patriots have replaced him. McDaniels, Patricia and Judge served on the same Patriots staff for several years but served as the club’s coordinators for offensive, defensive, and special teams from 2015-2017.
“I mean, I really don’t know exactly what everyone is doing there. I just know they have a lot of really good coaches,” McDaniels said at his Wednesday press conference. “And I was once in a position where I was on the defensive side of the ball for a few years, then I moved and coached quarterbacks for a year, and then all of a sudden the next thing I do is be ready to call the offense after being on the offensive side for a year and I remember nobody believed that was really the case.
“Look, I think Bill eventually has a plan for whatever he wants to do. And that plan, sometimes he has foresight that some of us don’t. I didn’t have it when he pushed me forward and helped me do that. So I have a lot of friends there, I have a lot of people there that I have a lot of respect for. Coaching is coaching.”
McDaniels was a defensive assistant to the Patriots from 2002-2003 before becoming the New England QBs coach in 2004. He moved up to his first stint as the team’s offensive coordinator in 2006 when Charlie Weis left the organization to become the head coach of Notre Dame.
But now with the Raiders, McDaniels added Tuesday’s training was as competitive as they could have asked for – although that’s not necessarily reflected in session transmissions that noted how rough New England’s offense looked for a final two-minute period.
“I think those guys are going through their process,” McDaniels said. “Look, I’m here and we’re going through our process. We don’t all get it right now in terms of going through a change. We have a new staff. So again, every team goes through this. It is not unique to us or to them. We’ll all find out one way or another.”