Yesterday evening, news broke that New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels would stay with the team and not become the next head coach of the Indianapolis Colts – despite the Colts having already announced the hire. The unexpected move naturally has major implications on both franchises, so let's find out what it means for the Patriots.
McDaniels might become the next Patriots head coach.
Bill Belichick still has at least one year left on his contract with the Patriots and despite recent reports about growing tension there is little doubt that he could and likely will get a new one if he so choose. But even though McDaniels will not take over in the immediate future, he now appears to be a prime candidate to eventually do so a few years down the line. And it would not be a surprise to see him, as NBC Boston's Tom Curran called it, get “primary consideration” for the job. After all, he has both tremendous respect and experience within the key players inside the building: Robert and Jonathan Krafts, Belichick, and Nick Caserio.
New England's offensive staff stays in place...
While the Patriots defensive staff will see some turnover after coordinator Matt Patricia left on Monday – this one is still intact, right? – to become head coach of the Detroit Lions, the return of McDaniels means that the offensive side of the football will stay in place. With the 41-year old not leaving Foxboro, there is now no vacancy at the coordinator spot and Chad O'Shea will not get the promotion and instead likely remain wide receivers coach. Furthermore, assistant quarterbacks coach Jerry Schuplinski will also stay in New England.
...as does the special teams unit.
The offense is not the only unit to benefit from McDaniels not becoming head coach of the Colts: the Patriots' kicking game staff now also stays in place. With his contract expiring, special teams coach Joe Judge was expected to join McDaniels in Indianapolis. However, with the deal falling apart at the last second, the 36-year old will now reportedly stay in New England. In an offseason where a new coordinator needs to be installed on defense, this move brings some stability to the Patriots' operation.
The Krafts and Bill Belichick are believers in McDaniels.
There are multiple reasons going into McDaniels' decision to remain with the Patriots from stability for him and his family, uncertainties about the Colts' ownership and quarterback. One other is the Patriots' late push to retain the offensive coordinator. This, in turn, shows that both the ownership of Robert and Jonathan Kraft, who are paying McDaniels, as well as head coach Bill Belichick believe that keeping McDaniels around is in the best interest for the team's short- and long-term plans.
McDaniels will play a role in grooming Tom Brady's successor.
While Tom Brady has shown no signs of slowing down and is coming off one of the best statistical games in Super Bowl history, the end is getting closer for the greatest quarterback of all time. As a result, New England will have to begin looking for his successor soon – and this year's draft might be a prime opportunity to do so. No matter when the potential heir is brought aboard, McDaniels, as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, will have a big role in getting the next franchise quarterback ready.