BLOOMINGTON, Minn. — With Josh McDaniels expected to land in Indianapolis and Matt Patricia primed to depart for Detroit, Super Bowl LII likely will be the final together for the two New England Patriots coordinators and head coach Bill Belichick.
Ahead of that showdown with the Philadelphia Eagles, McDaniels, who first joined the Patriots in 2001 and has steered New England’s offense since 2012, reflected on his relationship with Belichick, one of his earliest coaching mentors.
“Bill does a tremendous job of giving us time to try to help us learn in our roles,” McDaniels said Thursday during a Super Bowl media session at the Mall of America. “And that time is invaluable for Matt and I, because we get the opportunity to ask questions that he’s going to answer. He doesn’t have to do that. And he’s always been giving in that situation to the two of us and others in the past. He’s had us in his office or in our offices or whatever it is, and we sit down, and he lets us pick his brain. That means a lot to guys that are young and trying to ascend and trying to get better at their profession.
“When you’ve got a guy like him who’s willing to give you that time and that information and that wisdom, I think that says a lot about him as a person. You ask us, ‘Why do we enjoy being here?’ We enjoy being here because we keep getting better, and he gives us an opportunity to do our job, he gives us support, he’s a great resource for us and he lets us do it, even if we make mistakes.
“I think, as a coach, you feel good about having that opportunity and then trying your best. You know that he’s going to be there to support you and give you good feedback, and it’s an opportunity to compete and win that he gives us every single year with the way he puts the team together.”
Needing to replace both coordinators will have a significant impact on the Patriots’ coaching staff, but McDaniels said the risk of assistants leaving for better opportunities never tempers Belichick’s desire to help them improve.
“I think he cares about us as people and as coaches, and I think he’s proud of all of us,” McDaniels said. “I really do. So I wouldn’t say it would be a contradictory feeling at all. He knows what he’s doing. He’s trying to pass on what somebody passed on to him, whether that was Bill Parcells or his father (former Navy coach/scout Steve Belichick) or whatever.
“He’s got a lot of people that have helped him, and I think he sees that opportunity as a head coach to pass it on to his staff and the guys that work for him. And he absolutely takes every opportunity to do that.”
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