The new Las Vegas Raiders head coach is getting his second shot at running his own show despite a less than stellar stint with the Denver Broncos. One thing that can’t be argued, though, is Josh McDaniels’ offensive prowess during his time under Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots.
For the better part of nearly 14 years (one with the St. Louis Rams), McDaniels has always commandeered a potent offense. Just look at what he did last year with a rookie quarterback in Mac Jones. Interestingly enough, McDaniels went up against his mentor this week in joint practices and will do so again tomorrow in the Raiders’ preseason finale. Nevertheless, the matchup everyone’s looking forward to is on December 18th, when the Patriots return to Allegiant.
McDaniels was recently asked about his thoughts on him being familiar with what the Patriots were doing in practice. In particular, if their current system looked familiar or not.
“I saw plenty of things that I’m familiar with. As I said, I don’t know everything that they’re doing. They probably saw as many things from us that they’ve never seen as we did them. I think you fit it to your personnel, and like I said each year is an evolution. Honestly, I’ve never wanted to stay the same from one year to the next because I’ve always been fearful of what that result would produce. You stay the same in this league and there are great coaches and players on the other side, and they just run you down.”
How does familiarity play a factor for Josh McDaniels when he goes against the Patriots?
To expect the Patriots to simply continue McDaniels’ offense with Matt Patricia taking over this year would be short-sighted. Of course, McDaniels will recognize tendencies, plays, etc. when he faces his old team in the regular season and tomorrow as well. In fact, the Raiders coach mentioned that the familiarity factor goes both ways.
“There [are] plenty of things I saw yesterday that I knew. I thought it was funny, we didn’t have noise yesterday, so we were calling out some things in the two-minute offense, and their whole sideline is yelling what it is. I thought that was funny, we didn’t have much success with it, but anyway.”
The points that McDaniels made in his presser are absolutely correct. Having learned from the best head coach arguably in all of NFL history has taught him many things. McDaniels’ offenses were ever-evolving. He didn’t always have Tom Brady (which many critics point to) but rather, found success with Matt Cassell and Jones as well. Even with the Rams, he made the most of what he had to work with. In spite of having Sam Bradford at quarterback, McDaniels built an offense catered to Stephen Jackson. He ran for 1,145 yards on the ground that season with Cadillac Williams coming in second with 361. Perhaps, shades of what McDaniels will do this year with the Raiders’ backfield.
Can we expect for McDaniels to shred Belichick’s defense? Doubtful but fans definitely await to see a trick or two from McDaniels considering he’ll surely recognize a thing, maybe two.
*Top Photo: Yahoo Sports