Josh McDaniels broke Bill Belichick’s No. 1 rule with new Raiders coaches

MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA - JANUARY 09: Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels of the New England Patriots (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA - JANUARY 09: Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels of the New England Patriots (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots saw another one of their top assistants leave their ranks in order to take a head coaching job elsewhere, as Josh McDaniels vacated his post as New England’s offensive coordinator to become the head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders.

As with any assistant coach that leaves for greener pastures with another franchise, it’s expected that some low-level assistants will join the outgoing coach with the promise of elevated positions elsewhere. If there’s one thing Belichick hates, it replacing all of those assistant coaches.

Belichick has been on the record as being furious whenever a former assistant starts taking away Patriots coaches, often accusing them of trying to “tear down our program” when that happens. McDaniels, however, isn’t worried about incurring the wrath of Belichick considering what his current staff looks like.

McDaniels named Mick Lombardi, who was New England’s wide receivers coach for the last two seasons, as Vegas’ offensive coordinator. Additionally, offensive assistant Bo Hardegree was promoted to quarterbacks coach and offensive line coach Carmen Bricillo took the same position with the Raiders. Belichick has a ton of hiring to do.

Josh McDaniels is stealing tons of New England Patriots assistants.

Defensive coordinator Patrick Graham, who was poached from the Giants, is another former Pats assistant, as he served as the defensive line coach and linebackers coach before joining Brian Flores’ staff in Miami. Is McDaniels trying to build the Patriots West in Las Vegas?

The Graham hire and the retention of wide receivers coach Edgar Bennett from the previous regime shows that McDaniels may have learned a few lessons from his ill-fated stint with the Broncos. He might not be trying to completely imitate Belichick, even if he’s taking all of his coaches.

We haven’t heard much from the Patriots in terms of their replacement plans for these coaches. Joe Judge has been brought on as an offensive assistant and Matt Patricia is still floating around in that vague role of unspecified importance, but that won’t make up for losing this much talent so quickly.

On top of the fact that the Patriots are notoriously slow when it comes to hiring staff, they could lose even more coaches next season if de facto defensive coordinator Jerod Mayo gets a head coaching job. We could be looking at a mass exodus in New England.