MIAMI — There aren’t many people who leave the Patriots and then wind up advancing further in the playoffs than New England.
But that’s where former Patriots defensive line coach Brendan Daly finds himself with the Kansas City Chiefs. Daly left the Patriots to become the Chiefs’ run game coordinator and defensive line coach. The Chiefs will take on the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LIV on Sunday. Daly will be the only person in Sunday’s game to participate in the last four Super Bowls.
So, what went into Daly’s decision to depart the Patriots and join the Chiefs?
“There were a number of factors,” Daly said Monday at Super Bowl LIV Opening Night. “It was a very difficult decision for me. My time there was so special, and my respect for Coach (Bill) Belichick and the organization and the people there is second to none. There were a lot of factors and a lot of things that kind of happened at the right time in the right situation, and here I am. I’m happy to be here. I’m excited about the opportunity to play in this game again, for sure.”
Daly received a promotion in the form of run game coordinator. His contract was up with the Patriots, and Steve Spagnuolo, who Daly worked under with the then-St. Louis Rams, became the Chiefs defensive coordinator.
“It’s been awesome,” Daly said of working with Spagnuolo. “It’s been a really good relationship, and I’ve had a lot of respect for him for a long period of time, and we’ve obviously worked together before. It’s been a good opportunity for both of us, I think.”
Daly seemingly was next in line to become the Patriots’ next defensive coordinator/play-caller after Brian Flores left to become head coach of the Miami Dolphins. Days after the Patriots won Super Bowl LIII, reports emerged that they would name Greg Schiano as their next defensive coordinator. Schiano wound up resigning before even taking on the position, but Daly was blocked again for the top defensive role. Those duties shifted over to Belichick, inside linebackers coach Jerod Mayo and secondary coach Steve Belichick.
Daly said his duties have changed “a decent amount” with the Chiefs.
“Obviously, your responsibilities, what you’re asked to do in terms of game-plan, in terms of day-to-day things have changed a little bit,” Daly said. “A lot of it is similar. I think just understanding how the organization operates and what the head coach wants, there’s certainly some differences there. Your role changes, and that’s your duty as an assistant coach is to figure out what the head coach wants and what the coordinators want and then do the best that you can to accommodate that.”
Chiefs defensive linemen Frank Clark, Chris Jones and Tanoh Kpassagnon have all played well for Daly in Kansas City.