New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels looks on prior to an NFL football game Nov. 14, 2021, in Foxborough, Mass. Credit: Michael Dwyer / AP

One of the hottest names on the head coaching market for the last decade, Josh McDaniels was very, very picky with his next destination.

He turned down a number of opportunities and infamously left the Colts at the altar, but the 45-year-old exchanged vows with the Raiders on Monday afternoon, where he and new general manager Dave Ziegler held an introductory press conference.

So what made Las Vegas the right spot for the longtime Patriots assistant?

“I’ve been patient,” McDaniels said. “I’ve been selective, maybe to a fault sometimes. People wanted me to do things a little earlier than maybe I did them. But it was going to take a special place for me to really leave where I was, and I found that here in Las Vegas.

“When you go through this process, I was very impressed with how exhaustive they were, just in their evaluation of me and my fit and how I would fit into their vision. And then you come out and you spend time with them, you meet the people, you see that everything’s done in a first-class manner. Their commitment to winning is easy to feel, to see, and to me, walking through this building and having a sense of the history and tradition of this organization and how much that impacts the day-to-day here, it really hit me. This is one of those iconic places.

“It’s a historic organization that has unbelievable history and tradition, and it’s in every hallway. So just getting to know them, feeling their commitment and understanding that that really married up with what my vision would be for another opportunity, it was easy to make the choice.”

McDaniels will certainly be missed in Foxborough.

He shepherded Mac Jones to a Pro Bowl appearance in his rookie season and Belichick offered effusive praise of the former offensive coordinator last November.

“It’s kind of like (Alabama coach Nick) Saban when we were in Cleveland,” Belichick said. “Nick knew what every player on the field was doing. He knew what the guard keys were. He knew what the running back was keying. He knew what the nose guard was doing. He knew what everybody on the field was doing. Josh is kind of the same way. He knows what all 11 guys are doing on offense, what their keys are, what their adjustments are and all that. And he knows defensively how the guy is taught to play certain blocks or routes or reads and how to attack them.

“So I’ve learned a lot from Josh. I really have. He really excels in every area.”

The coach went on to explain some of the ways that McDaniels stands out to him.

“I don’t think he really has any weaknesses as a coach,” Belichick said. “He understands what every player on the field is doing on offense and defense. He has a great vision for how to utilize the skills of the players on his side of the ball and how to try to attack the weaknesses — whether it be personnel weaknesses or schematic weaknesses or how to try to force the opponent into a situation that he’s able to take advantage of. He’s an excellent play-caller. Timing. Setting up a sequence of plays.

“Josh is creative. He’s a very forward thinker. He’s got great poise during the game. He never gets rattled. Never loses track of the situation. He’s always a play or two ahead.”

Story by Chris Mason,