Earlier today reports broke the division rival Patriots had lost their second coordinator in two days. After defensive coordinator Matt Patricia had been hired as head coach of the Detroit Lions, offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels was announced as head coach of the Indianapolis Colts.
This Just In: Colts announce they have hired former Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels as their new head coach. pic.twitter.com/5z9hbpnbDE— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) February 6, 2018
This has been expected for a few weeks.
So that was that...until it wasn’t. Much like Bill Belichick did to the Jets 18 years ago, McDaniels backed out of the Colts head coaching job.
Stunner: Patriots’ OC Josh McDaniels has decided NOT to accept Colts’ HC job and will remain with New England, sources told ESPN.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 7, 2018
In the past 48 hours, Patriots owner Robert Kraft began talking with Josh McDaniels and ultimately wound up sweetening his contract, helping to entice him to remain in New England, per sources. Bill Belichick has his OC back.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 7, 2018
Normally I would be inclined to accept somebody having second thoughts right as they were about to make a major life change. This is not your normal case, though. McDaniels had weeks to think this through. The Colts essentially ended their search. They wasted two to three weeks they could have otherwise spent finding their next coach because McDaniels seemed to be theirs.
If McDaniels wasn’t going to take the job, surely he owed it to them before February 6 to figure that out.
It would be one thing if he was messing around, but his selfishness here has repercussions for the careers of other coaches.
The Colts' assistants you've seen reported (e.g. Matt Eberflus as DC) have signed contracts and have been in the team's building, sources say. Indications are they'll still be with the team, albeit under a different HC than McDaniels.— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) February 7, 2018
Not only that, but Josh McDaniels was calling assistants earlier today and offering them jobs. No more. https://t.co/13RCMZQMJP— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 7, 2018
Isn’t he a standup guy?
What led the Patriots to make their push to keep McDaniels?
Text from one league source: “That’s Kraft putting it to the Colts again. He will forever try and (expletive) that place ever since deflate gate.”— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 7, 2018
I needed to read that like four times to make sure I got it correctly. The Patriots were the team that cheated, and they act like the victim? How does that work?
This might have seemed like a sign that Bill Belichick’s departure from New England is imminent, and McDaniels was in line to take over. That would mesh with an explosive ESPN report from a few weeks back. That doesn’t seem to be the case, though.
Source: Bill Belichick is not leaving the Patriots. Josh McDaniels simply decided to stay.— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) February 7, 2018
If McDaniels ever wants to be a head coach in this league again, he’d better hope he gets the New England job when Belichick eventually retires. He just made himself unhirable to 31 other teams.
McDaniels spent eight years working to restore a reputation that was damaged by a dismal stint as Broncos head coach. In one day, he managed to undo all of the good.