Staying Put With The Patriots: What Is Josh McDaniels Thinking?
In the past 13 months, 14 NFL head coaches have been fired by their employers. That is almost half of the league in just a little bit over a year. The NFL has reached a time period where a new head coach is given two or three years to come in and turn a team around and if they can’t do it, it’s on to the next. Gone are the days of long term coaching deals and right now there are seven (soon to be less) head coaching positions open. A serious question was brought up the other day on 98.5 The Sports Hub about current Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, “why hasn’t he looked into any of the open head coaching positions”?
McDaniels has not always been with the New England organization, he was the head coach in Denver during the 2009-10 seasons and he was the offensive coordinator in St. Louis during 2011 before coming back to New England during their Superbowl run. With the experience he has, how come McDaniels has declined interviews with the teams looking for a new head coach? What does Josh know that we don’t?
The main idea that is floating around right now is that when McDaniels came back to New England last season, he was told that sooner rather than later that he would be the successor to Bill Belichick. It does make some sense if you think about it because Belichick is 60 years old and we know his current contract runs through 2013. We also know that is is highly unlikely that we will see Belichick coach anywhere else during his career. Patriots fans have to know that Belichick can’t be planning on calling it quits yet, at least not while Tom Brady is still our quarterback. He is in a position with New England that no other coach has throughout the NFL. He controls just about everything that goes on in the organization from who gets drafted to who can say what to the media. The only people that would ever consider crossing him, would be Mr. Kraft.
Josh McDaniels is very well connected in the coaching world. He has worked under arguably the greatest coach of all time and has had success (although not major) as a head coach in the past. There are great jobs available too including some that would almost guarantee an extension if he succeeded. Philadelphia is a major market with a very athletic team and if McDaniels chose to go to San Diego, he would be starting off with a QB who has proven to be one of the best in the league. We know that one place McDaniels likely will not end up is in Chicago. He was responsible for trading Jay Cutler out of Denver while he was the head coach and he also had issues with Brandon Marshall as well.
So, what is Josh McDaniels thinking? Well, for starters the Patriots are in a great position right now. They hold the #2 seed in the AFC and are a better team than the one that played in the Superbowl last season. Last year when he left St. Louis, he was allowed to join New England for their playoff run. Maybe McDaniels does not want to have to leave the team during the playoff run this year because of the potential that is out there. Maybe McDaniels wants to play the entire season out and then go interview for whatever positions are still available because if he does win a ring, that will only help his chances. It has also been reported that Cleveland has shown interest in McDaniels and that he would jump at the chance to coach there. Maybe Josh knows that the Cleveland job will be open after the playoff run and, out of respect for New England, wants to wait before he goes for an interview.
It does not make much sense as to why McDaniels is not looking into these open head coaching positions unless he knows something that the rest of us don’t. Whether it be because he knows he will be the head coach in New England soon or if he wants to wait until playoffs end, the bottom line is that we will never really know what he is thinking. That’s the Patriot way.