Many coaches have tried to install their own version of the so-called “Patriot Way” elsewhere throughout the years. For one reason or another, however, all of them have failed to achieve even a fraction of the New England Patriots’ success.
The latest assistant coach to leave the Patriots’ system is Josh McDaniels. A long-time offensive coordinator in New England and one of those failed head coaches — he spent one-and-a-half unsuccessful seasons in Denver — the 45-year-old left the club earlier this year to take over the Las Vegas Raiders’ vacant gig.
McDaniels has apparently learned from his experiences with the Broncos between 2009 and 2010. If Raiders defensive back Duron Harmon is to be believed, he is now trying to build his own identity and culture instead of copying the Patriots’.
“He’s trying to create a culture that is not the ‘Patriot Way,’” Harmon said during a recent appearance on NFL Network’s Good Morning Football. “He’s said it over and over again: ‘We are the Las Vegas Raiders.’ But the thing is, how he wants it done, he’s going to need people who have done it that way before.”
Harmon is one of those people. Joining New England as a third-round draft pick in 2013, the veteran defensive back spent seven seasons with the club and in the same building as McDaniels. He signed a one-year contract with the Raiders in March, becoming one of multiple ex-Patriots on the team’s current roster.
Including Harmon, there are nine of them at the moment. The three-time Super Bowl winner is joined by running back Brandon Bolden, linebackers Chandler Jones and Tashawn Bower, fullback Jakob Johnson, offensive lineman Jermaine Eluemunor, tight end Jacob Hollister, cornerback Cre’Von LeBlanc and quarterback Garrett Gilbert.
“You bring in guys like Chandler Jones, Brandon Bolden, Jakob Johnson, Jacob Hollister — guys like that you know who are great professionals, who are going to do things the right way, and are going to continue to put the team first,” Harmon said.
The Patriots connections go beyond these players, though. McDaniels’ coaches staff also features six former New England assistants, while general manager Dave Ziegler arrived alongside him after serving as the Patriots’ director of player personnel in 2021.
All of them experienced plenty of success at their last stop. Now they are trying to do the same in Las Vegas by starting a “Raider Way.”