New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels is the hottest coaching candidate this year, but MMQB’s Peter King thinks he’ll stay put in Foxborough.
“I think he is going to stay in New England,” King said on WEEI’s Dale & Holley with Rich Keefe. “Hey, if he wants to go, he absolutely, unequivocally deserves to go and should go because I don’t remember a guy, I mean Dan Pompei’s story midway through this season was so enlightening about what Josh McDaniels did...The story was all about the work Josh McDaniels has done over the last few years. He’s done his homework to say, ‘Hey, I screwed up my first chance. I made some mistakes, so I am going to learn from those mistakes and here’s how I am learning.’ That’s what the story was about. It was fantastic.”
Part of what McDaniels learned from his head coaching stint with the Denver Broncos was the importance of commitment and ownership. McDaniels didn’t sufficiently verbalize his intentions in Denver and it led to a lot of friction; he wants to join a team with an owner that is willing to commit to his vision.
After watching the San Francisco 49ers fire Chip Kelly after one year, while the Jaguars remain committed to GM Dave Caldwell, and the Rams gave their future drafts for QB Jared Goff- why would McDaniels want to join any of these franchises for what could be his last chance at a head coaching job?
Why not just wait another year to see if a better job opens up?
“To be with one of the best three or four coaches in NFL history, to be with perhaps the greatest quarterback in NFL history and to be one with that quarterback, King said. “Josh McDaniels and Tom Brady, they complete each other’s sentences. They know what makes the other one go and all that stuff. Obviously, I think McDaniels, the only way he goes is if he says, ‘You know what? I love Blake Bortles. I think I can make something of Blake Bortles. I like Dave Caldwell, the general manager, and I like the young players on that defense. They are in a weak division. I can win in Jacksonville.’ In my opinion, that is the only way and I would doubt he would look at any of these jobs.”
McDaniels isn’t up for any other vacancy this year- he won’t join the division rival Bills, the Broncos won’t bring him back, and the Chargers want a defensive-minded coach- so unless he loves the Jaguars, Rams, or 49ers, he’s going to stay put.
It wouldn’t be a surprise for McDaniels to put a priority on an NFC team so he wouldn’t have to face head coach Bill Belichick as frequently. There are ongoing discussions about possible openings with the New Orleans Saints and the Arizona Cardinals in the next year or two, although they have albatross contracts at quarterbacks with Drew Brees and Carson Palmer.
The Chicago Bears could be an option if John Fox struggles to turn the team around in 2017 as QB Jay Cutler can be released without much financial stress in the coming years (McDaniels traded Cutler to the Bears in the first place).
The best position might actually be with the Cincinnati Bengals if they part ways with Marvin Lewis. McDaniels could be a boon for an offense that features talent like WR A.J. Green, TE Tyler Eifert, and RB Giovanni Bernard. The Bengals hired Lewis as the head coach in 2003 and he has yet to win a playoff game. That’s the sort of long leash that could entice McDaniels to leave New England.
But unless the Bengals make a move with Lewis this year, the odds that McDaniels remains in New England seem better than originally expected.