The Indianapolis Colts announced that their head coach position was filled with the hiring of New England Patriots Offensive Coordinator Josh McDaniels.
… hours later, his tenure in Indianapolis was over before he could even introduce himself to the local media – which was scheduled for 4 p.m. ET on Wednesday.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweets that McDaniels has decided against accepting the Colts’ head-coaching gig and will remain in his role as the Patriots’ offensive coordinator. Schefter adds that in the last 48 hours, New England owner Robert Kraft sweetened the pot to bring McDaniels back in the mix with some additional contract perks. The last-minute move means Bill Belichick won’t lose both of his coordinators in the same offseason, as Defensive Coordinator Matt Patricia has already accepted a job as the Detroit Lions’ new head coach.
This would come as a total surprise, but Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio tweeted about “increasing chatter” that McDaniels would stay with the Patriots after Super Bowl during the big game, and Florio wouldn’t rule out the possibility of Belichick retiring and McDaniels being his successor.
McDaniels being part of the Patriots’ succession plan makes sense, even more so now in the wake of the 30 for 30 documentary on ESPN in which Belichick seemed to be on board with the idea of a succession plan if the timing worked out for all parties – something Belichick never got from Bill Parcells when he was an assistant with the Giants or the Jets.
The Bears interviewed McDaniels as part of their coaching search, flying from Minneapolis to Boston to meet with the Patriots assistant. McDaniels interviewed with several teams during the process, but appeared destined to join the Colts when all of the other positions filled up.
Of course, therein lies the risk of having to play the waiting game in the NFL coaching hunt. The Colts are forced to go back to the drawing board while the Bears have their head coach and his staff in place having already attended the Senior Bowl and prepared to take on the upcoming NFL Scouting Combine at the end of February.
The drama behind the scenes, by the way, may not be entirely over:
This Josh McDaniels story is so twisted on so many levels — from the Colts to the Patriots and the many layers in between.
Plenty of people I’ve been texting in last 10 minutes, even those within Patriots organization, are as confused as the rest of us.
— Jeff Darlington (@JeffDarlington) February 7, 2018