The New England Patriots are no strangers to losing coaching assistants and front office executives to the annual coaching and general manager carousel, and 2021 was no different for the six-time champs.
While more departures could be on the way, the most notable came in the form of longtime offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels leaving to become the Raiders’ head coach. To rub salt in the wound, Las Vegas poached former Patriots director of player personnel Dave Ziegler to be their new general manager.
These outgoing personnel pieces present a new hurdle for Bill Belichick, who’s responded by hiring former special teams coordinator Joe Judge as an offensive assistant. It remains to be seen whether Belichick will appoint a new OC in McDaniels’ wake, but fans are right to be concerned about who’ll be calling plays in 2022.
After all, McDaniels has held that responsibility title for the last decade. The 45-year-old wasn’t always fully appreciated by fans, but that didn’t stop him from taking out a full-page ad in the Boston Globe to thank Patriots Nation.
Josh McDaniels said goodbye to the Patriots with an emotional full-page ad in the Boston Globe.
We highly recommend giving the entire letter a read, but the closing two paragraphs fully encapsulate how the Patriots, the city of Foxborough, and the fans contributed to McDaniels’ rise as a top-flight coordinator.
"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."
That’s as classy as it gets from McDaniels, but that doesn’t come as a surprise given how he conducted himself with the Patriots.
On top of calling Boston “the best sports city in the world,” McDaniels set aside time to commemorate Belichick. For McDaniels, it’s impossible to calculate how Belichick’s generosity and willingness to spread knowledge shaped his life and career.
McDaniels also made sure to show love to former quarterback Tom Brady, with whom he shared an offense for 13 seasons, and owner Robert Kraft, whom he referred to as a “GOAT” for teaching him countless life lessons, always caring for his family and treating him like a son.
McDaniels is a class act, and this heartfelt ad should serve as a lesson to fellow coordinators, coaching assistants and front office executives on how to properly bid farewell to a franchise when the time comes to take a life-changing opportunity with another team.