The reunion is complete.
Josh McDaniels will return to the Patriots immediately as an assistant coach, and he'll be the offensive coordinator next season, according to ESPN. The news came down Saturday morning just as Bill O'Brien, New England's offensive coordinator through the playoffs, was introduced as Penn State's new head coach.
McDaniels spent eight seasons with the Patriots, from 2001-08. He was the offensive play-caller in 2005 before getting promoted to offensive coordinator in 2006, and he was in charge of the 2007 offense that was the greatest in NFL history. He was the Broncos head coach from 2009-10 and was relieved from his contract as the Rams offensive coordinator to return to New England.
The reunion between McDaniels and the Patriots came down quickly. It wasn't reported until Friday afternoon that the Patriots received permission to speak with McDaniels, and the timeliness of it all showed how strongly each side felt about the other.
The transition should be seamless for both sides, as McDaniels and quarterback Tom Brady are very familiar with one another. It could create a strange dynamic with both McDaniels and O'Brien on board for the Patriots' playoff run, but the two have worked together in New England for two years, so it shouldn't be too much of an issue, if any at all.
Plus, McDaniels will give the Patriots an established voice going forward. Both McDaniels and O'Brien operated as the play-callers for a full season before earning their respective promotions to coordinator, and each struggled during their first season on the job. With McDaniels at the helm, head coach Bill Belichick shouldn't have to worry about grooming his next offensive mind.
While O'Brien did an admirable job as the offensive coordinator, particularly while orchestrating the 2010 offense after Randy Moss was traded, McDaniels should be considered an upgrade at the position, which makes it work out well for everyone involved.