FOXBORO, Mass. — New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman is known to toss out some ridiculous nicknames.
In 2014, upon learning from reporters that the Houston Texans named Ryan Mallett their starting quarterback, Edelman replied, “Mal-Dog?”
So, Edelman rattling off a list of nicknames for Patriots offensive assistants didn’t come as too big of a surprise after the Patriots’ 27-0 win over the Houston Texans.
“Mickey D’s (offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels) is a beast,” Edelman said. “I love playing with him, I love playing for him. Not just him — Jerry (Schuplinski, assistant quarterbacks coach), Chaddy O (wide receivers coach Chad O’Shea), (running backs coach) Ivan Fears, all offensive coaches, they put their — Ski, can’t forget about (tight ends coach Brian) Daboll. They all put their thoughts into this stuff, timeless hours of just game planning and doing what they need to do. It’s fun to play with.”
The Patriots promoted Schuplinksi to assistant quarterbacks coach this offseason after his first three seasons with the team. The promotion makes one wonder if the Patriots are preparing for life without McDaniels, who serves as both offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.
If McDaniels took a head coaching position with another NFL team this offseason — which would be much deserved after he’s led the Patriots to a 3-0 record with backup quarterbacks — New England likely would promote Daboll to offensive coordinator, and Schuplinski could take over the QB coach role.
The Denver Broncos hired McDaniels as head coach, ending his first New England stint after the team went 11-5 with Matt Cassel at quarterback in 2008. He went 11-17 before being fired midway through his second season. Many point to Bill Belichick’s initial failure as a head coach with the Cleveland Browns, when he went 36-44 in five seasons, as a sign McDaniels’ second attempt could be worth the risk.
Belichick deserves much of the credit for the Patriots’ 3-0 start, but McDaniels has played a huge role on offense in getting Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett prepared to start.
Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images