Josh McDaniels the coach of the Raiders isn’t much different from Josh McDaniels the offensive coordinator of the Patriots.
“He’s the same,” running back Brandon Bolden said after a minicamp practice Wednesday. “He just says things a little more stern now.”
Bolden would know. The 32-year-old joined New England as an undrafted free agent in 2012, the same year McDaniels returned to the organization as offensive coordinator after his first head coaching stint in Denver. Bolden spent nine of his first 10 seasons with the Patriots and signed with the Raiders shortly after McDaniels accepted the job.
“(The familiarity) is a big advantage,” Bolden said. “You know what to expect, you know how to go about things at practice, and you can give guys the heads-up about what the coaches are looking for.”
There is that slight adjustment to learning to see McDaniels as the coach as opposed to the offensive coordinator, but Bolden thinks it has been easy.
“It’s like if you’re used to your older brother babysitting, but now the parents are nowhere around and you’re stuck with your big brother for the weekend,” he said. “It’s been cool these past years to see him going to Denver and coming back to New England, and now I’ve had him since I was a rookie and now he’s where he is now.”
But Bolden fights back at any perception that McDaniels wants to run things like their former organization.
“This is something totally different,” he said. “Josh is going to put his own spin on things. Are there a few things we learned along the way because I was there with him a lot of that time? Sure. But we’re not trying to be New England. We’re the Las Vegas Raiders, and that’s what we’re going to play as.”
One similarity is the crowded running back room. Bolden is used to it and steps into a position that features Josh Jacobs, Kenyan Drake, Ameer Abdullah and recent draft picks Zamir White and Brittain Brown.
“It’s very competitive,” Bolden said. “For me and what I’m telling them, I’m here to make you better and you’re here to make me better, so we’re going to push each other.”
Praise for Perryman
Linebackers coach Antonio Pierce is in his first year as an assistant at the NFL level.
He was pleased to find a leader such as Denzel Perryman upon his arrival despite Perryman’s quirks
“Have you not seen the PJs he wears to morning meetings? It kind of threw me off,” Pierce said. “He’s got swag. I mean, he’s from Miami. He’s a proud Hurricane. I’ve known him for a while, maybe not on a personal level but from afar. What he brings not only with swag but attitude and professionalism and, more importantly, leadership. When he talks, the room gets a little quieter. You want that from somebody on your defense, and you really want it from the linebacker position.”
Fourth-round pick Zamir White signed his contract. Terms weren’t disclosed.
White, a running back who played at Georgia, ran for 2,043 yards and 25 touchdowns in 38 games and led the Bulldogs in rushing two straight seasons.
Also, the Raiders waived tight end Travis Koontz. The undrafted rookie free agent out of Texas Tech became expendable when the team signed veteran tight end Jesper Horsted on Tuesday.