When Josh McDaniels spurned the Indianapolis Colts before last season to remain the New England Patriots’ offensive coordinator, the logical presumption was McDaniels someday would replace Bill Belichick as the head coach in Foxboro.
Has anything changed?
A reader asked The Athletic’s Jay Glazer whether the Patriots might consider linebackers coach Jerod Mayo or safeties coach Steve Belichick (Bill’s son) — rather than McDaniels — for their head coaching job whenever The Hoodie finally leaves his post. The NFL insider doesn’t see that happening, though, for he believes the plan still calls for McDaniels to someday take over in New England.
Here’s what Glazer wrote in his mailbag published Tuesday:
No, I think it’s McDaniels, I think that was the plan. When he jolted the Colts, that was the plan to stay there in New England.
I’ll tell you what though, to follow Bill Belichick, that’s got to be the worst gig ever. Players are going to question you, “Bill did it this way” or “Bill did it that way”. Even when Bill was a defensive coordinator with the Jets, he left there and players were saying that. Mike Nolan was the guy who replaced him and I remember players pushing back and not giving him a chance at first. That’s probably one of the worst jobs you could ever have, replacing Bill Belichick. To have to carry that torch??? Thanks but no thanks.
McDaniels, who had a brief head coaching tenure with the Denver Broncos in 2008 and 2009 before eventually returning to New England, was announced as the Colts’ new head coach shortly after the Patriots’ Super Bowl LII loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in February 2018. He promptly withdrew from the position to stay on Belichick’s coaching staff, though, and it’s certainly fair to think he’ll stick around for the foreseeable future.
That said, McDaniels will continue to be a hot name tossed around in coaching speculation, especially if a high-profile job — the Dallas Cowboys, perhaps? — becomes available in the coming months.