Toward the end of a disappointing NFL season for the New England Patriots, offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels made it known, he was interested in becoming a head coach again. He’d had a rather unsuccessful stint with the Denver Broncos and accepted a second opportunity with the Indianapolis Colts in 2018 before shifting gears at the last moment.
After a season that featured mixed reviews on his playcalling efforts, McDaniels is still expected to draw some interest as a head-coaching candidate. Many are expecting that interest to come from what some are calling a “very attractive” opportunity.
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The Los Angeles Chargers Job
As of Tuesday morning, there were 6 NFL head-coaching vacancies.
The Jacksonville Jaguars, Detroit Lions, Atlanta Falcons, New York Jets, Houston Texans, and the Los Angeles Chargers. Of the 6, the latter is ranked No. 1 by NFL.com’s Judy Battista.
Battista isn’t the only one placing the Chargers’ job at the pinnacle of current openings. ESPN’s Field Yates and Adam Schefter shared their thoughts on what the former referred to as “a very attractive job.”
The Chargers have a 22-year old QB who just set the rookie record for passing TD and 2nd most passing yards ever.
The roster has blue chip pieces on both sides of the ball via a strong GM and a healthy cap situation going forward.
That's a very attractive HC job.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) January 4, 2021
The element that makes the Chargers’ HC job more attractive. https://t.co/tG88HKW8Dk
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 4, 2021
While likely NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Justin Herbert is perhaps the most attractive piece for a future head coach of the Bolts, there’s also Joey Bosa, a returning Derwin James, Keenan Allen, and Austin Ekeler to consider when looking at a roster that suggests the team should have been better than their 7-9 record. It also doesn’t hurt the job’s appeal when you consider the team shares the NFL’s newest building, SoFi Stadium, with the Los Angeles Rams, and plays half of its games in Southern California.
There is every reason to believe the organization is committed to finding some success. Several Patriots writers seem to believe this opportunity is one McDaniels will be willing to go after if the opportunity presents itself.
Anthony Lynn out in L.A. Given Josh McDaniels' praise for and pre-draft interest in Justin Herbert, this seems like a job he would go for. https://t.co/8UGHoXyGUM
— Zack Cox (@ZackCoxNESN) January 4, 2021
— Evan Lazar (@ezlazar) January 4, 2021
Because of how good the job looks to most candidates, expect there to be a ton of competition.
Other Potential Candidates
Perhaps the top head-coaching candidate in the sport at this time is Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy. The Chiefs’ offensive guru has learned from one of the sport’s best in Andy Reid and has solidified himself as a leader of men whose name is on the tips of everyone’s tongues when discussing the top candidates for head-coaching vacancies.
If we’re being honest, it is hard to imagine the Chargers or anyone else choosing McDaniels over Bieniemy at this point. The latter is simply the hottest name, and many of the other candidates will probably have to wait to see where he lands before they get their opportunities.
Why Staying With the Patriots Could Still Be an Option
McDaniels could wind up staying in New England. The job in Boston isn’t done. McDaniels seemed to embrace the opportunity to rebuild Patriots football after the departure of Tom Brady this past offseason.
Things didn’t work out as planned as the team missed the postseason for the first time since 2008. However, by the rest of the NFL’s standards, they still finished a respectable 7-9.
The ineptitude of the Patriots’ offense wasn’t the only problem, but it was easily the most high-profile issue with the team. Considering that is McDaniels’ chief responsibility, hanging around for another season could provide him the opportunity to boost his stock for next year’s openings.
We’ll likely know the answers to these questions by February. Stay tuned.
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