Josh McDaniels has spent most of his professional coaching career with the New England Patriots, leaving to become a head coach for a disastrous two years in Denver.
Upon his return in 2011, McDaniels immediately reestablished himself as one of the league’s top coordinators and has constantly been the subject of head coaching rumors and searches. He even nearly left to become the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts but got cold feet and decided to return to the Patriots.
Now, it appears McDaniels could definitely be on his way out for good. With several teams interested in his services, including Washington and Carolina, his next job could be with a fellow AFC rival. The Jacksonville Jaguars are in need of an offensive overhaul, and what better person to do that than the guy who has been behind one of the league’s most electric and productive offenses in the league.
Jaguars owner Shahid Khan is reportedly very interested in bringing in McDaniels along with former Patriots vice president Scott Pioli to help oversee a rebuild for the Jaguars, this according to Jason La Canfora of CBS.
The Patriots’ offensive coordinator could be one of many assistants to jump ship next year as New England’s dynastic run appears to be in its twilight.
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The Jaguars Weren’t Far from Glory
In 2017, the Jaguars were close to reaching the Super Bowl, reaching the conference title game for the first time in over 20 years. Standing in their way was a banged-up Patriots team at Gillette Stadium.
While the Jaguars defense held its nerve for three-and-a-half quarters, the offense under quarterback Blake Bortles suddenly went dormant in the second half. The result was a 24-20 loss to New England.
In that game, McDaniels and the Patriots scored 14 unanswered points to close out the game, converting timely third downs and mixing up the offensive plays. It was something the Jaguars weren’t doing that season and may have resulted in a Super Bowl, instead leading to collapse.
Though many of that core group has departed Jacksonville, including Jalen Ramsey and Dante Fowler, there is still a solid young nucleus of talent that someone like McDaniels could benefit from working with on both sides of the ball.
Does McDaniels Still Deserve Consideration?
It hasn’t been the best year of McDaniels’ career this season, as his play-calling has come under scrutiny with the Patriots’ offense sputtering. But that lack of offensive production is a result of injuries on the offensive line and a revolving door at wide receiver this season.
It was always looking like McDaniels was being set up to take over for Bill Belichick once he retired from coaching. But with “The Hoodie” looking likely to coach until he breaks George Halas’ record for career wins, a milestone that may take another 5-6 years, McDaniels can’t afford to be patient.