When Josh McDaniels was hired as the Las Vegas Raiders head coach earlier this year, detractors immediately pointed to his time as the Denver Broncos head coach as a reason he won’t have success in his new role.

McDaniels served as the Broncos’ head coach from 2009 to 2010. He went 8-8 in his first season, but the wheels fell off in year two and he was fired after a 3-9 start.

If McDaniels has already failed once in the AFC West, he’ll fail again, right?

That’s what the critics seem to think at least.

But that may not be the case.

In fact, former NFL quarterback Chris Simms, who played for McDaniels in Denver in 2009, thinks the former New England Patriots offensive coordinator is poised for success with the Raiders because of his different approach as a head coach in Las Vegas.

“I was with Josh McDaniels in his first rodeo with the Denver Broncos,” said Simms. “Totally different vibe. Maybe I’m a little wrong because I was in Denver and playing, but I remember being there and that place being in culture shock. Like whoah, the New England way and Josh are wearing our ass out. I remember at the end of the training camp — you don’t ever hear coaches and trainers complain and they were complaining at the end of training camp. And Josh McDaniels had only been there three months.”

“They weren’t used to the New England way and all the detail and scrutinizing of every little thing,” added Simms.

“He’s not doing that now. He’s talked to me about it. He talked to me at the combine about it. How he was going to approach things differently. He might have ruled too much with an iron fist the first time around. I think the biggest thing is he’s got a coaching staff this time, and people in the front office, who have been there with him….they know what they’ve signed on for.”

I can understand why folks would be skeptical of McDaniels based purely on his time in Denver.

But this isn’t the same coach. He was 32 years old when the Broncos hired him in early 2009. McDaniels has obviously grown a lot as a person and as a coach over the last 13 years. And he clearly learned a lot from his mistakes with the Broncos.

McDaniels took his time when it came to taking another head coaching job. He waited for the right opportunity and he found it with the Raiders. And based on what we’re hearing from Simms, McDaniels isn’t going to make the same mistakes in Las Vegas that he made in Denver.

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