During the New England Patriots’ game against the Minnesota Vikings yesterday, another NFC North team announced some of the biggest news this season: the Green Bay Packers parted ways with head coach Mike McCarthy after the team lost 20-17 against the lowly Arizona Cardinals. With the Packers at 4-7-1 and likely out of the playoff race, the organization decided that it was time for a change atop the coaching staff.
While Joe Philbin takes over as Green Bay’s interim coach, the team is expected to look for an outsider to take over after the season ends. The job opening appears to be an attractive one considering that the Packers have a talented core to build around and field one of the NFL’s most talented quarterbacks in veteran Aaron Rodgers. While a lot can change over the next one to two months, one name is already among those to watch: Josh McDaniels.
According to BetDSI, the Patriots’ offensive coordinator is currently considered the second best bet to succeed McCarthy behind only the Vikings’ John DeFilippo. Considering McDaniels’ success as New England’s play caller since rejoining the team in 2012, this should not be seen as a surprise — despite him leaving the Indianapolis Colts at the altar just this February. Winning, after all, cures a lot of things in the NFL.
And McDaniels has been calling a lot of winning football over the years with future Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady running the show: his 2007 and 2012 units led the league in scoring, while no other of the Patriots’ offenses that had the 42-year old as coordinator finished outside of the top eight. Oh, and he also helped the team win two Super Bowls in his current role. Few if any candidates bring the same credentials to the table.
Green Bay would therefore be smart to at least pursue McDaniels and try to bring him into a situation similar to the one he currently has in New England: a stable front office backing him up and an outstanding quarterback leading the offense — two important building blocks. The question very much will be whether McDaniels would leave the Patriots this time around after deciding against it earlier this year.
According to Yahoo Sports’ Charles Robinson, it might happen: some around the league apparently believe he will join the Packers, while “a handful” of potential assistant coaches have already indicated interest in joining him in Green Bay.