After spending 14 non-consecutive seasons in New England, McDaniels is currently in his first season as the Raiders’ head coach. Despite spending just one of those seasons with quarterback Mac Jones, the former offensive coordinator made a strong impact on Jones in his rookie season.
“Josh is a great coach,” Jones said Tuesday on WEEI’s Merloni, Fauria, and Mego. “Pushed me really hard and coached me hard. We worked together and we were with each other every day and working hard. He expects a lot out of his players and he’s a smart, smart guy. He’s got great memory, great recall. He remembers things from certain games and all that stuff. Definitely a great coach and looking forward to going against him this weekend.”
McDaniels matched up against Bill Belichick and the Patriots just once when he was a head coach for the Denver Broncos. In the 2009 meeting, the Patriots managed just 17 points, perhaps having something to do with McDaniels’ familiarity with the opposition.
While the Patriots underwent a ‘streamline’ process to their offensive system after McDaniels’ departure this past offseason, the long-time coordinator surely still knows how New England likes to operate.
“Every head coach is going to have their input on the game plan. Josh is a great football coach and he knows how to attack defense,” Jones added. “Obviously he’s familiar with me and a little bit of our system and all that stuff. At the end of the day they have good players and good coaches, and we have good players and good coaches. It all comes down to execution.”
Execution has been an issue for the Patriots’ offense for the large part of the 2022 season. The struggles have caused visible frustration from their quarterback the past two weeks, which Jones explained as just part of the game.
“I think football is an emotional sport. I like to show my passion on the field,” Jones told WEEI. “We’re out there to win and do everything we can to win. Sometimes we’ve just gotta put together a better performance. A lot of that is just the leadership that comes from getting the guys to play and doing a good job of working together. And just trying to create longer drives and score more points. At the end of the day it’s an emotional game. You want to be able to show emotion and not let it affect your play.”
Following the Monday night win over the Cardinals, the Patriots will stay out west in Tucsan, Arizona to prepare for the Raiders, where they hope they can continue to make strides on the offensive side of the football.
“It’s important to realize that we’re out here to do a job,” Jones said. “It’s a great opportunity to kind of have a really good week and carry that over to Vegas.”