Raiders' Josh McDaniels Says 'I Can't Be' Bill Belichick; 'Just Going to Be Myself'

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVMay 26, 2022

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MAR 02: Head coach, Josh McDaniels of the Las Vegas Raiders speaks to reporters during the NFL Draft Combine at the Indiana Convention Center on March 2, 2022 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Las Vegas Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels believes he tried to copy Bill Belichick too much during his last stint as a head coach. 

"I'm not Bill...I can't be," McDaniels told reporters Thursday. "I'm just going to be myself and hopefully a good leader for this team."

McDaniels went 11-17 across two seasons with the Denver Broncos in 2009 and '10 after he spent the previous eight years under Belichick with the New England Patriots. He returned to the Patriots in 2012, spending 10 years as the team's offensive coordinator before landing a head coaching job with the Raiders this offseason.

The 46-year-old had a lot of success in his previous role, leading the Patriots to at least seventh in the NFL in points scored in eight of the last 10 years. The squad finished third in points last season despite being led by a rookie quarterback in Mac Jones.

McDaniels was also on the staff for all six of the franchise's Super Bowl titles, including the last three as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.

Despite his success in New England, significant questions loom regarding whether he can win without Belichick.

The Raiders are set up for contention after they reached the playoffs with a 10-7 record last season. Derek Carr is an established quarterback who set a career high with 4,804 passing yards in 2021, and he has an elite new weapon in All-Pro wideout Davante Adams.

The defense should also be improved after it added Chandler Jones and Bilal Nichols to the front seven.

It will be up to McDaniels to get the most out of the roster while he finds a path outside the Patriot Way and the Raiders look to contend for a Super Bowl.