Yesterday afternoon, New England Patriots offensive coordinator was named head coach of the Indianapolis Colts as expected, and he began working on his staff by hiring three assistant coaches. Last night, McDaniels changed his mind and spurned the Indianapolis Colts, electing to instead remain with the New England Patriots.
The big question is: Why did Josh McDaniels leave the Indianapolis Colts high and dry?
During Josh McDaniels first stint as a head coach with the Denver Broncos, his teams were a dismal (11-17) before he was fired, and his record suffered due to horrific quarterback play (Kyle Orton, Brady Quinn, Tim Tebow). It is clear that Josh McDaniels let it be known he would never take another head coaching job without a strong starting quarterback already in place, and the Indianapolis Colts appear to have that in Andrew Luck, however Luck is coming off a shoulder injury which cost him the entire 2017 NFL season. There is some speculation that Andrew Luck’s shoulder injury caused Josh McDaniels to get cold feet, McDaniels panicked when due to concerns over the long term health of Luck’s shoulder, and elected to remain with the Patriots.
One source that I trust told me that McDaniels wants to run his own team, and there is no way that that he turned down the Colts head coaching job over Luck’s troublesome shoulder, to remain in New England he has no doubt McDaniels received a promise from Patriots owner Robert Kraft and head coach Bill Belichick.
Rumors are swirling that a deal was reached to make Josh McDaniels the head coach in waiting in New England, that a deal was cut at the last minute between McDaniels and Robert Kraft, which makes McDaniels the eventual replacement behind his mentor the legendary head coach Bill Belichick. These rumors state that in that deal, 65-year-old Bill Belichick will retire following next season (possibly two more seasons), and will hand the Patriots over to McDaniels as his successor.
We have also heard that Bill Belichick will step down as Patriots head coach, but remain with the team as the general manager, with Josh McDaniels being promoted to Patriots head coach.
This would give the Kraft family the smoothest transition possible once the legendary Bill Belichick calls it career, Josh McDaniels is a coach who knows the New England Patriots organizational structure from top to bottom, and is someone who Kraft likes and is comfortable with running his franchise into the future.
Knowing the way NFL head coaching opportunities work, there is no way McDaniels turns down the Colts job if he was not promised the car keys to the Patriots within two years, a deal had to be cut which made him Belichick’s successor and a time frame for that transition to occur must have been established.
Knowing the secrecy in which the Patriots organization operates, we will likely never know the terms of the last second deal will will keep Josh McDaniels with the Patriots, but expect him to succeed Bill Belichick as head coach of the Patriots within two years.