Patriots Assistant’s Name ‘Floated’ As Candidate for Raiders Head Coach Job

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It seems the New England Patriots could easily lose at least one of its assistant coaches to head-coaching opportunities this offseason.

Jerod Mayo has received interviews, namely with the Denver Broncos, and there is talk that Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels’ name is being “floated” as a candidate for the Las Vegas Raiders job, per Jonathon Jones of CBS Sports.

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McDaniels interviewed for the Philadelphia Eagles’ opening last offseason, but he didn’t get the job. Instead, the Eagles hired Nick Sirianni, who led the team back to the postseason.

McDaniels has one of the more choice coordinator positions in the NFL working under Bill Belichick. However, he’s dipped his toe as a head coach in the NFL before, and he had another near-miss a few years ago.

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It’s clear he plans to pursue a head-coaching opportunity at some point in the future.


McDaniels’ Career as a Head Coach

Back in 2009, McDaniels left the Patriots to become the head coach of the Denver Broncos. The offseason leading up to his first year in Denver was filled with controversy.

McDaniels and the Broncos’ young quarterback Jay Cutler had issues which led to the latter being traded to the Chicago Bears for Kyle Orton and three draft picks (two firsts and a third). After getting off to a fast start in the regular season, things began to fall apart for McDaniels. Denver won its first six games of the season before losing four in a row. They finished the season 8-8 and out of the playoffs.

In 2009, the Broncos started the season 3-9 and McDaniels was fired.

In 2011, McDaniels was hired as the St. Louis Rams’ offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. He stayed in that role for one season before returning to the Patriots as an offensive coordinator in 2012.

McDaniels has remained in this role for 10 years, but he did accept an offer to become the Indianapolis Colts’ head coach in 2018. However, McDaniels had a change of heart and reneged on the offer. He returned to his post under Belichick but now it appears he has the itch to be a head coach.

He told NESN’s Zack Cox he “absolutely” wants to be the main man on the sidelines again.


McDaniels May Need Another Year Developing Mac Jones

McDaniels did a solid job bringing Mac Jones along as a rookie quarterback. The Patriots won 10 games and returned to the postseason after a one-year absence.

However, the team fell off down the stretch and some might attribute that to a lack of evolution on the offensive side of the ball. Jones was limited to three pass attempts in a Week 13 win over the Buffalo Bills.

While that game was a victory for the Patriots, it seemed to signal a downward trend for Jones and the Patriots’ offense. Jones had 6 TDs and 5 INTs after that game, and if you remove the 3 TD passes he threw against the lowly and COVID-19-depeleted Jacksonville Jaguars, he had only 3 TD passes the rest of the season.

If Jones shows great improvement in his second season and the Patriots’ offense makes strides, then McDaniels will gain even more recognition. At that point, McDaniels could find himself in a position to choose the best opening available.

McDaniels might also be waiting to become Bill Belichick’s successor. While Belichick wants to coach in 2022 and hasn’t given any indication he is considering retirement soon, the time for him to hang up his hoodie is closer than it is far away, and McDaniels would be the obvious choice to succeed him when the Patriots legend walks off into the sunset.

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