The 2021 NFL season is behind us, and so is Josh McDaniels’ tenure with the New England Patriots. After 18 seasons with the organization — including the last 10 straight as its offensive coordinator — McDaniels left in late January to take over as the Las Vegas Raiders’ new head coach.
McDaniels was already introduced by his new team, and now he also properly said goodbye to his old one. The 45-year-old took out a full-page ad in Wednesday’s Boston Globe to address the Patriots as well as their fans.
In its essence, McDaniels wrote a 1,083-word love letter to both the team and the region as a whole.
“I will miss you, all of you Patriots fans, more than you know. You are the epitome of resilience and the definition of support,” McDaniels wrote. “There is a reason they call Boston the best sports city in the world.”
McDaniels first arrived in New England as a personnel assistant in 2001, being recruited by fellow coach Brian Daboll. He rose through the ranks over the next few years and by 2006 was named the Patriots’ offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.
He left in 2009 to take over as head coach of the Denver Broncos, but was fired one-and-a-half disappointing seasons later. After a short stint as offensive coordinator of the St. Louis Rams, McDaniels returned to New England to take over his old job again in 2012. Over the ensuing decade he helped guide the Patriots to three more championships — bringing his total number of rings to six — and through the end of the Tom Brady era.
“When I moved here 20 years ago, I had no children, no wife, no NFL experience and of course no Super Bowl ring,” he wrote, addressing Patriots fans directly.
“Two decades here have given me a magnificent wife, four magnificent kids and six Super Bowl rings. Through school carpools, club sports, my kids’ friendships, Nor’easters, the pandemic and my crazy schedule, you’ve always been there for us. You drew a perfect picture of what ‘HOME’ for an NFL football coach should be.”
McDaniels also addressed some of the companions he had through the years — starting with a trio of GOATs: quarterback Tom Brady, head coach Bill Belichick, and team owner Robert Kraft. He mentioned the relationships he formed with all three, and how they all impacted his own career.
“I feel immense, heartfelt gratitude for having been able to coach alongside an incredible array of great leaders and teachers over the years,” McDaniels wrote. “And as I look back, I realize how blessed I was to coach the players I coached over the past two decades.”
The full text of McDaniels’ ad reads as follows:
Another football season is behind us. Another Super Bowl has been played. For 9 of the past 21 years, the Patriots’ season ended at around this time after playing in a down-to-the-wire Super Bowl. And in 6 of those 9 recent Patriot Super Bowl years, New Englanders heartily reveled in the sports world’s best victory celebrations: Boston Championship parades. I was fortunate enough to be here to experience all of these wonderful times.
At first, in 2001 at age 24, I was a “scouting assistant,” which meant that I said yes to everything I was asked to do at old Foxboro Stadium. Brian Daboll had plucked me from a year of selling plastics, and I used most of my tiny Patriots stipend that first year to buy a placeholder engagement ring for my incredible wife Laura. With a not-so-lavish marriage proposal at the Foxboro Residence Inn and a miraculous Super Bowl win in New Orleans that year, my tenure with the Patriots was off and running.
For the next two seasons (2002-03), I was privileged to learn from one of the best defensive staffs ever assembled. I was a defensive quality control coach under Coach Belichick, Romeo Crennel, Eric Mangini, Rob Ryan and Pepper Johnson. Following a Super Bowl win in early 2004, BB asked me to coach the quarterbacks, which meant I shifted from drawing up defensive play cards to working with the GOAT: Tom Brady. For 13 of the next 16 years, I had a front-row seat to watch TB12 play the most important position in all of team sports better than anyone has ever played it. Far more personally significant, almost 2 decades of sharing a game day trench with Tommy forged a close relationship of trust and gave rise to a priceless friendship. Tom is as great as it gets on and off the field, and I appreciate how he’s made me better in so many ways.
The person who gave me my start in professional football, who gave me my first shot at coaching a position group, who named me OC at age 29 and who graciously welcomed me back to the Patriots after my three-year sabbatical in Denver and St. Louis is another GOAT: Bill Belichick. My father, Thom, a Hall of Fame high school football coach in Canton, Ohio, taught me the game of football. Bill taught me how to teach others how to play this game I love, and sculpted me into the coach I am today. Bill’s brilliance has been matched in my life only by his generosity, his willingness to share with me invaluable coaching axioms that have shaped and will continue to shape my career and my life immeasurably.
The third and final GOAT here is the man at the very top of the New England Patriots pyramid of success: RKK. Robert is relentless in his pursuit of excellence, and his results in business and with his football team speak to his unwillingness to lose. But RKK is a GOAT to me because of the life lessons he’s taught me and because of how warm and caring he has always been to me and my family. He treated me like a son, and I always felt his genuine support and love. The nostalgic, deeply emotional and hopeful phone call I shared with Robert the day I took the Raiders job is one I will cherish forever.
3 GOATS?!? What a collection of talent I was privileged to work with here. Robert was not the only Kraft that provided leadership and support. Jonathan, Dan, Josh and the rest of the Kraft family did and provided all they could to help us win. One way that they helped us was by hiring only the very best people to work for them. From Dante Scarnecchia to Ivan Fears to Nancy Meier to Jimmy Dee to Berj Najarian to Dan Famosi to Jim Whelan to Joe Van Allen to Jared/Teddy/Fernando to Stacey James to countless others, Gillette Stadium is stocked with championship human beings.
I feel immense, heartfelt gratitude for having been able to coach alongside an incredible array of great leaders and teachers over the years. And as I look back, I realize how blessed I was to coach the players I coached over the past two decades. We shared long hours, cold practices, that excruciating, numbing feeling following losses like Super Bowl XLII in Phoenix and the unbridled joy of winning games like Super Bowl XLIX in Phoenix. Leaving Patriot coaches and players is the hardest part of leaving.
Finally, I will miss you, all of you Patriots fans, more than you know. You are the epitome of resilience and the definition of support. I will never forget snowballs flying around after the “tuck” game, the way you embraced Matt Cassel after TB’s 2008 knee injury, the LOUD way that you expressed a “never say die” attitude in the second half of our Super Bowl against Atlanta and, most of all, you enthusiastically lining the streets for our half dozen duck boat parades. There is a reason they call Boston the best sports city in the world.
I leave for Las Vegas with a ton of excitement about the opportunity there. The Raiders ownership and management is first class, and they’ve been treating me exceptionally well.
At the same time, my family and I leave New England with heavy hearts. Our lengthy and rich time here, along with the quality and depth of relationships we’ve built here, mean that New England will always be a very special place to the McDaniels family. From a Patriots standpoint, there can be little doubt that collectively you helped us win an incredible 6 World Championships. You fueled a dynasty and you were always there for us.
When I moved here 20 years ago, I had no children, no wife, no NFL experience and of course no Super Bowl ring. Two decades here have given me a magnificent wife, 4 magnificent kids and 6 Super Bowl rings. Through school carpools, club sports, my kids’ friendships, Nor’easters, the pandemic and my crazy schedule, you’ve always been there for us. You drew a perfect picture of what “HOME” for an NFL football coach should be.
So from the bottom of my heart, thank you so much for giving the Patriots and my family a distinct home field advantage. You took a naive kid from the midwest and made him a wicked savvy New Englanduh. All the very best going forward.
— Josh McDaniels