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Josh McDaniels bids farewell to Patriots, calls fans ‘the epitome of resilience and the definition of support’

Josh McDaniels had plenty of nice things to say about the Patriots and New England fans.Matthew J Lee/Matthew J Lee/Globe staff

Former Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels bid farewell to New England in a full-page ad in Wednesday’s Boston Globe, thanking coach Bill Belichick, team owner Robert Kraft, and former quarterback Tom Brady while looking back on his 21 years with the Patriots.

McDaniels — who was named head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders on Jan. 31 — acknowledged what he called the “3 goats” he had a chance to work with in Belichick, Kraft, and Brady in his 21 years with New England, and added that Gillette Stadium is “stocked with championship human beings.”

He saved some of his fondest words for Patriots’ fans, both on and off the field.

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“I will miss you, all of you Patriots fans, more than you know. You are the epitome of resilience and the definition of support,” he wrote.

“Our lengthy and rich time here, along with the quality and depth of relationships we’ve built here, mean that New England will always be a very special place to the McDaniels family,” he wrote. “From a Patriots’ standpoint, there can be little doubt that collectively you helped us win an incredible 6 World Championships. You fueled a dynasty and you were always there for us.

“When I moved here 20 years ago, I had no children, no wife, no NFL experience and of course no Super Bowl ring. Two decades here have given me a magnificent wife, 4 magnificent kids and 6 Super Bowl rings. Through school carpools, club sports, my kids’ friendships, Nor’easters, the pandemic and my crazy schedule, you’ve always been there for us. You drew a perfect picture of what ‘HOME’ for an NFL football coach should be.”

McDaniels went back to the beginning of his New England tenure in 2001, recalling how Brian Daboll “plucked” him from a year of selling plastics to become a New England scouting assistant, one who survived on a “tiny Patriots stipend,” most of which he used on an engagement ring.

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“With a not-so-lavish marriage proposal at the Foxboro Residence Inn and a miraculous Super Bowl win in New Orleans that year, my tenure with the Patriots was off and running,” wrote McDaniels.

McDaniels recalled his move from defense to offense after the 2004 season, one that saw him become the quarterbacks coach.

“For 13 of the next 16 years, I had a front-row seat to watch [Brady] play the most important position in all of team sports better than anyone has ever played it,” he wrote. “Far more personally significant, almost [two] decades of sharing a game day trench with Tommy forged a close relationship of trust and gave rise to a priceless friendship. Tom is as great as it gets on and off the field, and I appreciate how he’s made me better in so many ways.”

McDaniels was equally lavish in his praise in what Belichick and Kraft meant to his development as a coach and individual.

“Bill taught me how to teach others how to play this game I love, and sculpted me into the coach I am today,” he wrote. “Bill’s brilliance has been matched in my life only by his generosity, his willingness to share with the invaluable coaching axioms that have shaped and will continue to shape my career and my life life immeasurably.

“Robert is relentless in his pursuit of excellence, and his results in business and with his football team speak to his unwillingness to lose,” he added. “But RKK is a GOAT to me because of the life lessons he’s taught me and because of how warm and caring he has always been to me and my family. He treated me like a son, and I always felt his genuine support and love.”

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McDaniels’ final salute was for the New England fans.

“Finally, I will miss you, all of you Patriots fans, more than you know,” he wrote. “You are the epitome of resilience and the definition of support. I will never forget snowballs flying around after the ‘tuck’ game, the way you embraced Matt Cassel after TB’s 2008 knee injury, the LOUD way you expressed a ‘never say die’ attitude in the second half of our Super Bowl against Atlanta and, most of all, you enthusiastically lining the streets for our half dozen duck boat parades. There is a reason they call Boston the best sports city in the world.

“So from the bottom of my heart, thank you so much for giving the Patriots and my family a distinct home field advantage. You took a naive kid from the Midwest and made him a wicked savvy New Englanduh. All the very best going forward.”

Boston Globe

Christopher Price can be reached at christopher.price@globe.com. Follow him @cpriceglobe.