The Las Vegas Raiders have faces that may lead you to think that they are Patriots West, but don't hold your breath. Despite the organization plucking Josh McDaniels and Dave Ziegler out of Foxborough to be its new head coach and GM earlier this offseason along with a number of player signings that have also spent time in New England, it doesn't sound like the Raiders are going to immediately start walking, talking and acting like the Patriots. In fact, McDaniels is apparently making a concerted effort not to.
"He's trying to create a culture that is not the Patriot Way," new Raiders safety Duron Harmon, who played seven seasons in New England, told Good Morning Football on Wednesday. "He's said it over and over."
Historically, Bill Belichick disciples that have gone on to ascend to head coaching roles throughout the NFL have failed, in part, because they have tried to mimic the hoodie's hard-nosed, militaristic style. While Belichick's ways have led him to six Super Bowl titles in New England, it's not a style that has been replicated successfully. McDaniels himself flamed out in his initial try as a head coach in Denver partially due to his attempt at being a Belichick clone.
During his introductory press conference back in January, McDaniels did give an early inclination that he's learned from that experience and is now taking his own personality into the new gig.
"I'm clear in the vision that I have for this role for this job, for this team and I'm going to be myself," McDaniels said at the time. "I think that's really important for me and our organization going forward."
Of course, this philosophy should give McDaniels a better shot at his tenure with the Raiders being successful, which is an encouraging sign for the organization.
So far, the Raiders have made moves that have been very un-Patriot-like. For example, they made a major splash by trading for wide receiver Davante Adams and giving him a market-setting contract. They also gave out lucrative extensions to quarterback Derek Carr and defensive end Maxx Crosby, while signing free agent pass rusher Chandler Jones. While New England did break that bank in free agency last offseason, typically a more frugal approach is taken, so we're already seeing some deviation from how McDaniels and Ziegler are operating things in Las Vegas.