Josh McDaniels has come under fire during the 2022 season as his first year with the Las Vegas Raiders hasn’t gone according to plan.
The Raiders had a talented roster that looked like it could compete, but instead, the team finds itself fighting for its playoff life. McDaniels has four games left to turn the tide around, though Week 15 presents a tough challenge as he goes up against his mentor, New England Patriots head coach Bill Belicheck.
While it might be a daunting task to go up against someone like Belichick, McDaniels said he is looking forward to the game via Myles Simmons of Pro Football Talk:
“Honestly, it’s a unique opportunity. And I would say that I look forward to all these opportunities, they don’t come out around often,” McDaniels said in his Wednesday press conference. “I know he’s going to get his football team ready to play on Sunday at [1:05]. I don’t think he’s going to care a whole lot about how much he mentored me or what he did and vice versa.
“And that’s not a bad thing. I don’t think he would expect anything less from me than to just compete and do everything we can to help our team win, and I know that’s what he’s going to do. So, I look forward to the competition. I know they do it the right way. Eager to have our team go through our week of preparation here and get ready for a hell of a football game on Sunday.”
McDaniels spent most of his NFL career alongside Belichick in New England, so he went out of his way to credit the head coach with his professional success:
“Look, it’s obvious I wouldn’t be here, or even in the National Football League, if it wasn’t for Bill,” McDaniels said. “Robert [Kraft], Jonathan [Kraft] gave me a great opportunity a long time ago. He’s been invaluable to me in a lot of ways. Hard to measure all of them.
“I got to see firsthand how to try to do it the right way. His philosophy on everything; offseason, training camp, in-season, postseason, evaluations, draft, free agency. He gave a lot of his time to me, and I was able to hopefully pick up as much as I could.”
McDaniels has his head coaching gig largely in part because of the work he did under Belichick, but he’ll need to coach one of the best games of his career if he hopes to beat him and the Patriots this week.