Despite Heavy Criticism, Josh McDaniels Has a Fan in Former Patriots Wide Receiver Danny Amendola

Let’s face it, Josh McDaniels doesn’t have the greatest resume as an NFL head coach. After a rough two-year stint with the Denver Broncos and a tough minute-and-a-half with the Indianapolis Colts, McDaniels is having a tough go as the head man with the Las Vegas Raiders.

Through 13 games, the underachieving Raiders enter Sunday’s matchup with the New England Patriots at 5-8. It’s an intriguing meeting between the Raiders and McDaniels’ former team, the New England Patriots. While McDaniels was highly regarded as an offensive coordinator under Bill Belichick, he hasn’t had much success as a head coach. Despite the struggles, former Patriots wide receiver Danny Amendola has nothing but his praise for McDaniels.

Josh McDaniels has taken a lot of heat in his first year with the Raiders

Head coach Josh McDaniels of the Las Vegas Raiders stands on the sidelines prior to an NFL game against the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium on December 8, 2022, in Inglewood, California. | Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images.

McDaniels is in his first year as head coach with the Raiders after an ugly ride with the Broncos in 2009. McDaniels got off to a tremendous start with the Broncos, winning his first six games as head coach. After starting 6-0, the Broncos ended that season 8-8, finishing the year with a pair of four-game losing streaks.

Things didn’t get much better in 2010. After starting 2-2, the Broncos dropped nine of their next 10 games. McDaniels was fired after Week 13.

In 2018, McDaniels agreed to be the head coach of the Colts. He as scheduled to be introduced the follow day but bailed out.

“After agreeing to contract terms to become the Indianapolis Colts’ new head coach, New England Patriots assistant coach Josh McDaniels this evening informed us that he would not be joining our team,” the Colts said in a statement in February 2018. “Although we are surprised and disappointed, we will resume our head coaching search immediately and find the right fit to lead our team and organization on and off the field.”

The Colts signed Frank Reich.

McDaniels returned to the Patriots as offensive coordinator and held that position until this year when he took over as head coach for the Raiders. The Raiders were expected to be serious contenders after trading for elite wide receiver Davante Adams. Instead, McDaniels and the Raiders have come under fire during their 5-8 season. Four times this year, the Raiders have held a lead of 13 or more points in a game and lost them all.

Danny Amendola has high praise for McDaniels

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While Raiders, Colts, and Broncos fans probably don’t think too highly of McDaniels as a coach, Amendola has nothing but high praise for him.

Amendola was a recent guest on The Herd With Colin Cowherd, and he and Cowherd discussed the current state of the Patriots coaching staff. Since McDaniels left, the New England offense has struggled mightily. This season, the Patriots have former defensive coordinator Matt Patricia calling the plays, and it hasn’t gone so well.

Amendola wouldn’t bash Patricia, but he offered high praise to McDaniels, saying he did something that most coaches aren’t able to do.

“I love Matt Patricia. He’s a brother of mine, man,” Amendola said. “I played for him. He brought me over from Miami to Detroit, so I got to link up with him. He’s a good coach. He understands defenses and how to attack the defense as an offensive player.

“I think one thing that Josh McDaniels did for us that maybe can’t be replicated anywhere else is that Josh could tell you what to do and why you’re doing it. Whereas other organizations and other coaches just — I played for seven teams — they’ll tell you what to do.

“They say follow the indicated line on the page. They don’t tell you why, recently. I learned so much from Josh McDaniels and Tom (Brady), being in that offense. It’s just hard to duplicate that, hard to replicate. You kind of see it.”

McDaniels might not have a whole lot of fans on his side, but Amendola sure is sticking up for him.