HENDERSON, Nev. -- As it turns out, Josh McDaniels is just like the rest of the football-following world in one respect.
"I really don't know exactly what everybody is doing over there," he said when asked about how the Patriots have tried to fill in the roles he left behind in New England.
Uncertain as the results of Bill Belichick's staffing process may be -- with Matt Patricia coaching the offensive line and calling plays this summer, and with Joe Judge coaching quarterbacks -- McDaniels did express his confidence in his former boss and his former boss' vision.
"They got a lot of good coaches," McDaniels said. "I was in a position once where I was on the defensive side of the ball for a couple years, then I moved over and coached the quarterbacks for one year. Then all of a sudden the next thing I'm doing is getting ready to call the offense after being on the offensive side for one year. I remember nobody believing that that was really the case.
"I think at the end of the day, Bill has a plan for whatever he wants to do. That plan -- sometimes he has foresight that some of the rest of us don't have. I didn't have it when he pushed me and helped me do that."
While McDaniels is putting his own spin on being a head coach in Vegas, there is certainly a Patriots flavor to the proceedings here. On his staff he has Foxboro transplants that include Carmen Bricillo coaching the offensive line, Mick Lombardi serving as offensive coordinator, Bo Hardegree working with quarterbacks and Jerry Schuplinski helping with the offense. Former Patriots players now in silver and black include Brandon Bolden, Duron Harmon and Jakob Johnson.
McDaniels also still sounds like some of the folks currently on Belichick's staff, touting familiar lines that include, "coaching is coaching."
“I got a lot of friends over there,” he said. “I have a lot of people over there that I have a tremendous amount of respect for. Coaching is coaching. You learn something new every day. I don't have every answer on offense. I don't have every answer on defense or special teams area. That's why you have a staff. You work together to try to produce the best result you can.
“From what I saw yesterday, that was as competitive a practice as we could ask for. In every phase. We lost plays in every phase. We were competitive on other plays. That's just what you're gonna see. I think that those guys are going through their process. I'm here going through our process. We don't have it all figured out in terms of going through a change with a new staff. Every team goes through this. It's not unique to us or them. We'll all figure it out somehow.”