Ahead of the 2018 season, it seemed certain that long-time New England Patriots‘ offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels would be on his way out of Foxborough for a second time to become the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts.
When, at the 11th hour, that deal fell through and McDaniels stayed, it then appeared he would be next in line to succeed legendary coach Bill Belichick in the coming years.
That theory could now be out the window, thanks to an offensive adjustment by McDaniels in Sunday’s 33-7 win over Washington. With the Patriots treading water at halftime nursing a 12-7 advantage, McDaniels upped the tempo and filtered in more running plays to quickly stretch the lead in what would be Jay Gruden’s final afternoon in charge of the Redskins.
Gruden was fired early Monday morning and was replaced by interim Bill Callahan. All signs point to an extensive search for the next coach to be conducted in the next few weeks. And according to Odds Shark, Patriots’ assistant coaches McDaniels and Joe Judge (special teams) could be candidates for the job.
Though the search might not be completed until the start of next season, it likely could see the two New England assistants interview and potentially get the job.
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McDaniels Has Experience
Although most of his coaching tenure has been spent as a coordinator with the Patriots, McDaniels ventured into the head coaching world during the 2009-10 seasons with the Denver Broncos.
In his first season, McDaniels led the Broncos to an 8-8 record, including an overtime victory over the Patriots. That year saw McDaniels build a veteran-laden defense with Ty Law, Brian Dawkins, and Champ Bailey all patrolling the secondary. But offensively, the Broncos sputtered averaging 20.4 points per game.
With signs still pointing to a bright future, McDaniels did not last the entirety of 2010, getting fired by the Broncos after a 3-9 start to the year. A quick stop in St. Louis bridged his return to the Patriots in the offensive coordinator role he still holds.
His ability to pull in high-profile free agents could render fruitful for a Washington front office looking for ways to fill seats. Not to mention the Redskins are in a better place offensively than the Broncos were when McDaniels inherited them, meaning the Patriots assistant could help develop some younger players with a more exciting and up-tempo offensive scheme.
You Be the Judge
When McDaniels was set to leave New England, he was said to be taking special teams coach Joe Judge with him. But though Judge has never been a head coach, he has been considered for jobs in the past and has a history of success coaching with the Patriots and under Nick Saban at Alabama.
Being able to handle multiple responsibilities at once could help Judge’s cause when it comes to wooing the Redskins into hiring him. Judge is a proven leader who can help turn players into versatile weapons in separate phases of the game. With a team as fast as Washington, Judge could have success developing that talent.