New England Patriots offensive coordinator, Josh McDaniels, has chosen to stay with the Pats. McDaniels had an offer to become the next head coach for the Indianapolis Colts. Everything was in place, they had agreed to contract terms, and the very next day after the Colts announce McDaniels as their new head coach, he pulls out and says never mind. The exact reason is unknown, but it is known that McDaniels and the Patriots agreed to have his contract tweaked. It wasn’t for as much as he would be getting as a head coach with the Indianapolis Colts, but it was enough for him to stay with the Pats. This raises three questions in dire need of answering.
Does this mean McDaniels Thinks He Can be the Next Patriot Head Coach?
McDaniel’s choice to stay in New England raises the question about now head coach, Bill Belichick’s tenure. Does this mean the Belichick era is coming to an end? Belichick is locked into the 2018 season. The Patriots had not addressed McDaniels future until the past week, making it known that they want him to stay. Maybe if McDaniels had this information sooner he might not have pursued other head-coaching jobs. It’s still unknown what Belichick is going to do pass the 2018 season, but more and more rumors are swarming around claiming this will be his last season.
Why Would He Want to Leave a Winning Culture for a Rebuilding Process?
McDaniels had two pretty successful stents with the Patriots, and he was a part of five super bowl winning teams and has Tom Brady as his quarterback. McDaniels had an opportunity to be a head coach once before with the Broncos from 2009-2010 and that didn’t go so well. He put up an 11-17 record for those two seasons and was fired. He stopped in St. Louis for a season as an offensive coordinator and ended up back with the Patriots in 2012 season.
McDaniels coaching record: https://www.pro-football-reference.com/coaches/McDaJo0.htm
The Colts have so many questions going into the 2018 season. Centering around their quarterback Andrew Luck. His health is still up in the air for this coming season. The team still has a horrendous offensive line, Colts allowed the most sacks per game last season with 3.5. Who knows if Luck will even be protected when he gets back. His replacement for the 2017 season, Jacoby Brissett, was sacked a league-high 52 times.
Where Does this Leave the Colts?
This puts the Colts in an extremely unfortunate position. It’s pretty late to jump back into the coaching market. The Colts had four other candidates known to interview for the job before locking in on McDaniels, none apparently were a viable option. Kris Richard, who was recently fired as defensive coordinator in Seattle, Matt Rhule decided to stay at Baylor University. Mike Vrabel was hired by the Tennessee Titans, and Matt Nagy went to the Chicago Bears coaching staff.
The Colts could do some last-minute interviews with a few members of the Philadelphia Eagles coaching staff. These three assistants wear major keys in the teams Super Bowl run; defensive coordinator and former Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz, quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo, and offensive coordinator Frank Reich.
You can’t be mad at McDaniels for changing his mind last minute, but you can be mad about how he went about it. McDaniels hired Matt Eberflus, former defensive coordinator, former Patriots assistant quarterbacks coach, Jerry Schuplinski, and former Dolphins offensive line coach Dave DeGulielmois. All of those men thought they would have a job in Indianapolis with McDaniels.
They told their family and friends thinking they would work for McDaniels but what now? Do they get to go back to their previous jobs? Did McDaniels consult them before making this sudden change? We aren’t sure but what we do know is Josh McDaniels will be looked at differently by his peers.