The story seemed to be inscribed in stone. Josh McDaniels, the successful offensive coordinator for the New England Patriots who had made three trips to the Super Bowl with the franchise, decided to pull the rug out from underneath the Indianapolis Colts, and remain put with his longtime football family.
It had been speculated since the week prior to the AFC Divisional Round playoff between the Patriots and Tennessee Titans. While the team prepared for their round one opponents, both of their coordinators were interviewing for potential head coaching positions for the following season.
The team that seemed to make too much sense for coach McDaniels was the Indianapolis Colts. After failing with two separate teams during his 30s as a head coach, it was clear that if McDaniels were to leave, it was crucial career-wise for that team to be lined up for success in the near future. The reasoning behind that is because this would be his third go-round as an NFL head coach, and most coaches are lucky if they even receive that third shot.
McDaniels held two separate interviews with the Colts. And according to Adam Schefter’s piece on this subject, it was because McDaniels was teetering on this decision. McDaniels warned the team that he would have to sit on this decision before giving them an answer. And because they waited him out, it seemed clear that the Colts wanted him to be their next guy. And inevitably, or so it seemed, McDaniels accepted the offer just two days after the crushing Super Bowl 52 debacle where his offense played the game of their lives.
The deal seemed as though it was done. So much so the Colts official Twitter account tweeted out an official announcement accompanied by a later tweet with the date and the time of when his official press conference would be where they would introduce him to the media.
We are excited to welcome Josh McDaniels, who has agreed to terms as our new head coach!
Press conference scheduled for Wednesday. pic.twitter.com/FIzhqIf2y4
— Indianapolis Colts (@Colts) February 6, 2018
Adam Schefter reports that within the past 48 hours, Patriots owner Robert Kraft began speaking with McDaniels about staying with the team and in return, sweetened his current deal in order to entice him to remain as the Patriots offensive coordinator.
It sounds like it wasn’t too hard of a decision for McDaniels; mostly because McDaniels largest factor for teetering on the decision was due to his distain for the necessity to uproot his family and move them from where they are comfortable, to a new home to start all over.
Personally I have been convincing myself that after current head coach, Bill Belichick’s complete and utter misfire during Super Bowl 52 – benching Malcolm Butler – that he may step down and McDaniels may take over going into THIS season.
And this sudden alteration in McDaniels plans would once again spark that deflated belief, if it wasn’t for this tweet from ESPN’s Mike Reiss.
Source close to situation says clarity on Bill Belichick’s status in New England (Belichick is locked in to coach Patriots in 2018) and stability for family among top factors for Josh McDaniels’ sudden change.
— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) February 7, 2018
Something tells me however, that this is coach Belichick’s final hoorah with the team, and that was another pivotal factor in McDaniels remaining with the Patriots for at least another season. Although, according to Schefter, he does refute that idea and actually says that if Belichick were to be leaving that may push McDaniels in the direction in doing so himself as well – but I don’t believe that in the slightest.
My intuition is telling me that Kraft and Belichick both met with McDaniels and laid it out for him. This is your kingdom beginning in 2019, Josh. Stay for this season, and you are the new head coach of the New England Patriots.
Sources have told ESPN that McDaniels had not yet signed the official contract with Indianapolis allowing him to freely make this decision.
Written By: Nick Quaglia (@NickQuag)