McDaniels to Remain with Patriots

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Adam Schefter, ESPN – After two days of reflection and conversations with the Patriots, New England offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels has decided not to accept the Indianapolis Colts’ head-coaching job, the team confirmed Tuesday night…

In the past 48 hours, Patriots owner Robert Kraft began talking with McDaniels and ultimately wound up sweetening his contract, helping to entice McDaniels, who had yet to sign a contract with the Colts, to remain in New England, a source said…

McDaniels’ decision to stay could spark speculation that perhaps Patriots head coach Bill Belichick’s tenure is about to end, but those close to McDaniels say that isn’t the case, a source told ESPN’s Mike Reiss…

Almost as soon as the Super Bowl ended Sunday night, there was speculation that Josh McDaniels might not actually take the Colts’ head-coaching job and leave New England. It had to be post-loss denial, I thought. After the Colts announced a press conference to introduce McDaniels as their new head coach, I was convinced that’s all it was.

How could McDaniels turn down the Colts at this point? Bill Belichick could retire tomorrow and move to Nantucket, but he could also coach the Patriots for another decade. Why would McDaniels want to wait around to see which way Bill goes? Why wouldn’t McDaniels want to pad his coaching resume for when Bill actually is ready to hang up the hoodie? Not to mention, it could be awfully tough for him to get a job outside of New England (Foxboro or Bristol) ever again if he bails on a team this late in the process.

Which is why McDaniels’ decision to stay in New England as offensive coordinator really is shocking. But maybe it shouldn’t be. McDaniels might not actually be worried about finding another job outside of New England. If he went to Indy and things went south in a hurry,  it’s possible he wouldn’t get another head coaching opportunity anyways. McDaniels already had one tough stint in Denver. A few disappointing years in Indy could turn him into Eric Mangini.

If McDaniels wasn’t absolutely convinced that this was the right time to move on, and the right place to move on to, good for him for not going through with it and sticking to his guns. How many times do athletes get crushed for chasing the money, even when it’s not really in their best interest? See Sandoval, Pablo and Hamilton, Josh for just a few examples. If anything McDaniels deserves praise for not just chasing money, and for making a decision that he thinks is in the best interest of him, his family and his career.

It would be fascinating to know if McDaniels would have reached the same decision had the Patriots won on Sunday. Of course we’ll never know for sure. Perhaps McDaniels didn’t want to leave on that note, or maybe he now feels that there is unfinished business that must be tended to with Tom Brady in New England. Maybe that will also give him time to wait and see what happens with Belichick.

As much as has been made about Brady’s age, Belichick will be 66 when next season starts. He’s only about seven months younger than Pete Carroll, the oldest head coach in the league. McDaniels might not want to wait another five years for Belichick to retire, but why not wait another two years?

If the Patriots do well over the next two years or so, McDaniels will still be in a great spot. He’ll either be ready to take the reins in Foxoboro, whenever that moment arrives, or he’ll be able to find a better opportunity than the Colts job elsewhere. As hard as it is to imagine right now, if McDaniels wins another title with a 40+ year old quarterback some other team will be willing to roll the dice on him.

As tough as Sunday’s Patriots loss was, with Belichick, Brady and now McDaniels still in place, the future is still bright for this franchise. The sun has not yet set on this dynasty.

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