Late Tuesday, in a rare moment of introspection, Davis himself smartened up by firing McDaniels and general manager Dave Ziegler. Linebackers coach Antonio Pierce will serve as interim head coach.
McDaniels compiled a 9-16 record as head coach of the Raiders after an 11-17 record as head coach of the Denver Broncos from 2009-10.
McDaniels is another failed disciple of New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, whose coaching tree more closely resembles poison ivy. Here’s a look at other Belichick assistants who have mostly struggled in the NFL as head coaches. (NFL record includes playoffs; coaches listed in alphabetical order.):
Romeo Crennel | NFL coaching record: 32-63
Crennel and Belichick served on the same coaching staff for Bill Parcells’ New York Giants in the 1980s and early ’90s, earning two Super Bowl rings. Crennel earned three more as Belichick’s defensive coordinator at New England before taking the Cleveland Browns head-coaching job in 2005. After four uninspiring seasons, Crennel became the defensive coordinator and later head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs, compiling a dismal 4-15 record. In 2020, he was 4-8 as interim head coach of the Houston Texans.
Brian Daboll | NFL coaching record: 11-13-1 (active)
Among many other positions, Daboll served two stints as a New England assistant before becoming the Giants head coach following Joe Judge’s firing. Daboll earned Coach of the Year in 2022 for leading the Giants to their first playoff win since 2011, but this season has been a nightmare. Daboll’s team has lost six of its first eight games, and no end to the losing appears in sight.
Al Groh | NFL coaching record: 9-7
After Belichick announced his abrupt resignation as head coach of the New York Jets in 2000, Groh — a former linebackers coach for Belichick in Cleveland — was pressed into duty. He led the Jets to a 9-4 start, but after a three-game losing streak to end the season, the Jets missed the playoffs. Groh then took the head-coaching job at Virginia, his alma mater.
Brian Flores | NFL coaching record: 24-25
Flores spent 15 years as a coach in New England before taking the head-coaching job of the Miami Dolphins in 2019. He was dealt a bad hand from the beginning, with owner Stephen Ross allegedly offering Flores financial incentives to tank. Flores had a lack of faith in franchise quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, which contributed to his firing after three seasons.
Joe Judge | NFL coaching record: 10-23
After eight seasons as a special-teams coach in New England, Judge was named New York Giants HC in 2020. Although the Giants were 6-10 in his first season, they finished a game out of first in a miserable NFC East. The next season, amid high expectations, Big Blue bottomed out to a 4-13 record and canned Judge, who’s now an assistant under … you guessed it … Belichick.
Eric Mangini | NFL coaching record: 33-47
As an assistant for Belichick in Cleveland and New England, Mangini earned the nickname “Mangenius.” At 35, he became head coach of the New York Jets in 2006, leading them to a wild-card berth in his first season. Things went south after the Jets finished 4-12 in 2007 and missed the playoffs in ’08 after an 8-3 start. Despite this collapse, “Mangenius” returned to the Browns as their head coach from 2009-10, predictably cratering with a 10-22 record.
Bill O’Brien | NFL coaching record: 52-48
Now in his second stint as offensive coordinator of the Patriots, O’Brien first became a household name in 2011 by getting into a shouting match with quarterback Tom Brady on the sideline during a game. In the wake of Joe Paterno’s firing, O’Brien was then hired in 2012 as Penn State head coach. After two decent seasons in Happy Valley, he returned to the pros in 2014 as head coach of the Houston Texans, where he perfected the art of coming up short. In seven seasons with Houston, O’Brien won two playoff games and was fired in 2020 after an 0-4 start.
Matt Patricia | NFL coaching record: 13-29-1
A former New England assistant on both sides of the ball, Patricia feigns intelligence by appearing with a pencil behind his ear. The Detroit Lions took this bait and made him their head coach in 2018. Over three seasons, Patricia jousted with players and media alike and was fired. He’s now a senior defensive assistant with the Eagles.
Nick Saban | NFL coaching record: 15-17
Saban was Belichick’s defensive coordinator from 1991-94 when the latter was Cleveland Browns head coach. After five seasons as LSU head coach, Saban returned to the NFL in 2005 as Dolphins head coach. The Dolphins started 3-7 that season but finished on a six-game winning streak to give themselves momentum for 2006. Instead, they finished 6-10. After repeatedly denying his interest in returning to college, Saban took the head-coaching job at Alabama that offseason.
Jim Schwartz | NFL coaching record: 29-51
Schwartz spent three seasons in Cleveland as a scout for Belichick, graduating to defensive coordinator of the Tennessee Titans for eight seasons and head coach of the Detroit Lions for five. After inheriting a team that finished 0-16 under Rod Marinelli in 2008, Schwartz took the Lions to the playoffs in three short seasons. He was fired in 2013 after two subsequently forgettable seasons and has enjoyed far more success as an assistant, winning Super Bowl LII as defensive coordinator of the Philadelphia Eagles.