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Bill Belichick coaching tree has yet to bear much fruit

The Raiders are hoping to defy history with their latest coaching hire.

Owner Mark Davis reached into a Bill Belichick coaching tree that hasn’t borne much fruit to pluck offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels as the next coach to lead his franchise

McDaniels has been a head coach before, going 11-17 before he was fired 12 games into his second season with the Broncos in 2010.

He is not the only disciple of Belichick to endure a lack of success when venturing out from under his shadow to lead their own team.

Seven of Belichick’s assistant coaches, including McDaniels, have been hired as head coaches during his stint in New England.

They have won just 41 percent of their games and combined for five playoff appearances in 27 seasons. Their combined record is 175-252-1.

McDaniels certainly wasn’t immune from those struggles in Denver. After starting 6-0 in his first season, his first Broncos team went 2-8 down the stretch and started 3-9 the next season before he was fired. His dismissal was at least in part triggered by a videotaping scandal that involved a team staffer filming an opponent’s walk-through practice.

Raiders fans looking for a silver lining can take solace in the fact that Belichick’s defensive coordinator in Cleveland was Nick Saban, who has won six national championships as head coach at Alabama. They can also take solace in the knowledge that 17 of the last 24 Super Bowls have been won by head coaches who had previously held the job in a different organization.

That includes the six titles won by Belichick, who had coached the Browns before cementing his legacy in New England.

All of the success he has had with the Patriots has led to other organizations hoping to replicate his blueprint by plucking his assistants.

It hasn’t really happened.

Bill O’Brien has been the best of the bunch, though he spent two years as the head coach at Penn State between his time on Belichick’s staff and his tenure as head coach of the Texans.

O’Brien was fired after an 0-4 start in 2020, but went 52-44 in his first six seasons and made four playoff appearances. He went 2-4 in the postseason.

Eric Mangini went 10-6 and made the playoffs in 2006, his first season as the Jets head coach. He was fired after going 13-19 the next two seasons, but quickly found another job as the head coach in Cleveland.

Mangini went 5-11 in each of his two seasons with the Browns and was fired again.

That’s the full list of former Belichick assistants to make postseason appearances as coach of their own teams.

Brian Flores just completed a three-year run in Miami that included two winning seasons but no playoff games.

He went 24-25, though he was 19-14 in his final two years with the Dolphins.

Romeo Crennel went 4-8 in 12 games as interim coach with the Texans after O’Brien was fired by Houston in 2020, but was previously 28-55 in parts of six seasons leading the Browns and Chiefs.

He did have a 10-6 season in 2007 with the Browns, but failed to make the playoffs.

Matt Patricia went 13-29-1 in three seasons with Detroit from 2018 to 2020, with his best year coming in his first season with the Lions when they went 6-10.

The Giants just fired Joe Judge this month after a 4-13 season. He went 10-23 over two years in New York.

McDaniels had been the offensive coordinator under Belichick for three seasons when he took the Broncos job in 2009. He has been back in that role for the last 10 seasons preparing for his second chance.

Now he gets it with the Raiders and will look to reverse a troubling trend.

Contact Adam Hill at ahill@reviewjournal.com. Follow @AdamHillLVRJ on Twitter.

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