Patriots’ Josh McDaniels Wanted to Coach Chargers Star: Report

Getty Josh McDaniels

The New England Patriots are known for showering their opponents with compliments and respect before a game. However, offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels went above and beyond before and after games against Los Angeles Chargers young quarterback Justin Herbert.

The Patriots have been a nightmare for Herbert since he came into the league. In 2020, Herbert’s Rookie of the Year season, the Patriots throttled the first-year player and the Chargers 45-0 in L.A.  On Sunday, the Chargers kept it a little closer, but the Patriots’ defense still picked off Herbert twice (both by former Charger Adrian Phillips) and won the game 27-24.

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Even with the Patriots domination of Herbert, there is some serious love on New England’s sidelines for the young star.

NBC Sports’ Albert Breer described McDaniels’ admiration for Herbert on a recent video segment. Breer said:

There was a really interesting moment between Josh McDaniels and Justin Herbert after that blowout win over the Chargers last season. Josh went and sought out Herbert after the game and told him, despite how Justin had played that afternoon, how much he thought of him as a player, how much he thought of him as a prospect. I know it meant a lot to Justin Herbert hearing that, and that was a result of all the work that Josh McDaniels had done in building a relationship with Justin Herbert over the course of the offseason. In fact, that’s why Josh McDaniels wanted that Chargers job. So, I think that’s evidence there how much the Patriots thought of Justin Herbert.

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There is no doubt, Herbert seems to be headed for a great career. Also, the Patriots’ rookie QB Mac Jones is having his own strong start. If the Patriots could choose between the two young guys, who do you think McDaniels would want?

Would You Rather Have Justin Herbert or Mac Jones?

If you’re only looking at physical talent, Herbert would seemingly have the edge. He’s bigger at 6’6″ 237 pounds compared to 6’3″ 217 for Jones. Herbert has one of the biggest arms in the league and Jones has good, but not overwhelming arm talent.

Neither player boasts a ton of speed, but for what it’s worth, Herbert did record a slightly faster 40-time at the NFL Combine (4.68 to 4.72). Playing QB is about more than those numbers. It’s mental and also about fit.

You’d be hard-pressed to find a quarterback who fits their current system better than Jones does in New England. If Herbert were with the Patriots, would they turn him as loose as the Chargers did last year, and have done so far in 2021? We’ll never know.

Neither Young QB Was Sharp on Sunday

While the future is bright for both Herbert and Jones, they didn’t play like it on Sunday. Both guys completed 18 of 35 passes on the day. Herbert threw 2 TD passes to go with his pair of picks (one of which was a pick-6). Jones didn’t find the end zone or turn the ball over, but his 218 passing yards was a touch shy of Herbert’s 223.

At the end of the day, Jones wound up with the only number that mattered, and that’s a notch in the win column as the Patriots improved to 4-4 and the Chargers fell to 4-3.

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