FOXBORO, Mass. — Josh McDaniels addressed the general New England media Friday for the first time since deciding earlier this year that he did, in fact, want to continue his tenure as Patriots offensive coordinator.
McDaniels, whose last-minute decision to turn down the Indianapolis Colts’ head-coaching offer left heads spinning at Lucas Oil Stadium, said he’s “thankful” to be back with the Patriots.
“Those things are not easy decisions to make,” the 42-year-old said. “I’m sure a lot of us have had to make decisions on what we feel like is best for ourselves or our career or our families, and I’m thankful to be here. This has been a great place for me. It’s really benefited me and my family. We’re grateful to have an opportunity to work for (team owner Robert) Kraft and his family, to coach for Bill (Belichick) and then to be with the staff every day and the players that we have an opportunity to work with. It really is an opportunity that you have to cherish and be grateful for each day, and I certainly am.”
Bailing on Indianapolis so late in the hiring process — the Colts’ website and Twitter feed already were filled with McDaniels-themed content when he informed the team of his change of heart — was a bad look for the longtime Patriots assistant and could hurt his chances of landing another head-coaching job in the future.
“There’s a lot that goes into those things, and it can be very complicated,” McDaniels said. “I’ll say this: I’ve stated again and again that I definitely want to be a head coach again. At the same time, I love being here. This is where my kids are born and raised. We’ve made a pretty special life here, and that’s not an easy thing to leave. There’s a lot to consider. Certainly, leaving here, I don’t take lightly, ever. I would never take that lightly. It was a difficult process, and I’m very happy with the decision that we made and grateful to be here and continue working toward the 2018 season.”
McDaniels said there is no “understanding” in place stating he will take over for Belichick when the Patriots head coach decides to retire. He told Jim McBride of The Boston Globe in March that he chose to return after receiving “clarity” about his role and future with the team from Belichick and Kraft.
McDaniels said Friday his role now is “the same.”
“I think if you’re here, you have an opportunity to work with and for some of the best people in our game — maybe some of the best people that have ever done those things in our game,” he added. “So I feel like it’s a great opportunity to be here in my role, and I think all of us feel that way. What you get to see every day, who you get to be around — I took four pages of notes (Thursday) in our squad meeting, and I’ve been here for a long time. …
“Whatever happens in the future is going to happen. I’ll be happy with whatever that is.”