Why Ex-Patriot Sees Josh McDaniels’ Role Of Raiders Coach As ‘Surreal’

Brandon Bolden is well-acquainted with McDaniels


Aug 24, 2022

Brandon Bolden and Josh McDaniels were quite familiar with each other before making the decision to join the Las Vegas Raiders this offseason.

Bolden spent eight of his first nine seasons with the New England Patriots before departing for Las Vegas. McDaniels, meanwhile, spent 13 seasons in New England and worked with Bolden during each of his eight campaigns with the Patriots.

Their experience together caused Bolden to refer to McDaniels’ new role as head coach of the Raiders as “surreal.”

“It’s just like the parents leaving the house and your older brother is babysitting. That’s kind of how it’s been,” Bolden said Tuesday when describing his new relationship with McDaniels, per the team. “Me and Josh have been together for a long time. And to just see him go from offensive coordinator, just calling plays, just tending to one side of the ball, to now seeing him standing in front of the whole team and address both sides, for me it’s still surreal.

“Because in my mind it’s like ‘Josh, you have no idea what defense is talking about,'” Bolden said humorously. “But he’s doing a great job. I love it for him and I’m super proud of him.”

Patriots coach Bill Belichick joined in on the compliments for McDaniels prior to the two teams taking part in joint practices on Tuesday and Wednesday.

“He’s done a great job,” Belichick said Tuesday, per a team-provided transcript. “You know I think the world of Josh.”

Bolden frequently was viewed as a core special teamer during his time with the Patriots while taking on more running back duties during the 2021 season — career-high 31% of offensive snaps. With a crowded depth chart at the position in Las Vegas, and the fact he signed a modest two-year deal for $5 million this offseason, it’s likely the 32-year-old returns to that role with McDaniels and the Raiders.

The Patriots will conclude joint practices against the Raiders on Wednesday prior to taking part in their final preseason game Friday night at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas. NESN.com will have on-site coverage throughout the week.

NESN.com’s coverage of New England Patriots preseason is presented by Cross Insurance, protecting your team since 1954.

Thumbnail photo via Stephen R. Sylvanie/USA TODAY Sports Images
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