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Josh McDaniels Waiting in the Wings
It has long been speculated, Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels is waiting in the wings to take over as New England’s head coach when Bill Belichick decides to call it a career. Belichick is 68 years old and he’s been coaching for more than four decades, so it’s only natural to expect to see him moving on some time in the foreseeable future.
McDaniels is Belichick’s longest-standing assistant, though he did step away in 2009 to become the head coach of the Denver Broncos and then the offensive coordinator for the St. Louis
He came back to the organization in 2012 and has been by Belichick’s side ever since. While many Patriots fans might welcome McDaniels taking over as head coach, not everyone is on that page.
Eric Wilbur of Boston.com called McDaniels taking over for Belichick the Patriots’ “worst nightmare.” Wilbur didn’t pull any punches with this take:
Tom Brady made McDaniels look good because of his mystical, plant-based protein power. Maybe that’s partly the case. Because the way he’s handled an offense with Newton suggests that McDaniels might not be able to progress past the Duplo stage of building blocks. The guy has looked lost, for the most part, with his new toy in Newton, after years of (presumably) pulling the strings on an offense that Brady led to such success. Yet, after watching Brady in Tampa Bay this season, albeit with a host of weapons that are like Bambi vs. Godzilla compared to the Patriots, one has to wonder just how qualified McDaniels is for his position. Oh, by the way. Remember this was the guy many assumed to be in line for the head coaching position in New England?Cue shivers. This is something that should have already concerned us, based on the fact that McDaniels failed in Denver and St. Louis, not to mention that he once drafted Tim Freaking Tebow in the first round of the NFL Draft. Even then, New Englanders seemed more intent to bury their heads in the sand when it came to McDaniels’s outside transgressions when it came to looking at the long-term plan in New England. Well, here we are.
Yes, here we are.
McDaniels’ Play Calling Has Been Suspect
I’d have to agree, McDaniels’ playcalling has left something to be desired at times this year. Case in point, in the loss on Sunday to the Houston Texans, McDaniels was far too passive. He has been reluctant to go to the passing game much and has relegated Newton to a game-management role with some designed runs mixed in.
This approach has become far too predictable and his offense is also struggling mightily to pick up opposing team’s blitzes. McDaniels hasn’t done a horrible job but to this point, his work hasn’t been such that we can look at New England’s offense and say, “that McDaniels can make things work without Tom Brady.”
What Has McDaniels Learned From His First Head-Coaching Opportunity?
Things didn’t go well for McDaniels in Denver. In almost two seasons, McDaniels compiled a head coaching record of 11-17. This was obviously less than ideal and led to him being fired from the position.
At 44, McDaniels still likely would love another shot to run a team–even though he turned down an opportunity to take over the Indianapolis Colts in 2018. We’ll have to see if that chance comes with the Patriots, and if so, can McDaniels make what some consider to be a nightmare a more pleasant dream.
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