Made official today, Patriots OC Josh McDaniels will try again to be a head coach in the NFL, this time with the Colts. We’ve all expected this move for awhile now, even with the last week bringing some intrigue with reports he was having second thoughts. Nevertheless, he followed through with his commitment and will join the Colts as their replacement for Chuck Pagano. And, it looks like he will be bringing friends.
Cowboys linebackers coach Matt Eberflus is expected to join McDaniels’ staff in Indianapolis as the defensive coordinator, while Patriots assistant quarterbacks coach Jerry Schuplinski and Dolphins offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmois also are expected to join the Colts, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Jerry was the assistant QB’s coach for a couple years under McDaniels after working as a coaching assistant for three years previously. He was a college teammate of McDaniels as well as Nick Caserio and director of pro personnel Dave Ziegler. Like Rutgers, John Carroll University is a feeder system for the Patriots, obviously.
It’ll be weird not seeing McDaniels’ on the sidelines in his white Patriots hat with that dumb laminated play sheet over his face, but I think this makes the most sense for him. I always thought there was a gentlemen’s agreement between he, Belichick, and Robert Kraft that he was next in line when Bill decided to quit. That evidently was not the case and to be honest what more can he do here in New England to improve his odds of landing a head coaching job? Win another ring? He’s been with the team in some capacity for each Super Bowl victory, so that’s unlikely. Wait for the perfect job? Off the top of my head I can’t think of jobs that will likely be available next year with better QB options than Andrew Luck. Sure, it’s a risk with him coming back from injury, but I think he’ll be okay. Besides, with the Colts picking third, Josh can always grab a QB. He’s shown he can pick quality QB’s before. Yikes. Indy, just hope Andrew Luck comes back ready to go.
Replacing Josh McDaniels will be an interesting challenge for the Patriots. I have a hard time figuring out who’s more responsible for the teams’ offensive successes. Is it McDaniels or is it Brady/Gronk/Lewis/Edelman? You can argue that Josh has drawn up some schemes and plays to accentuate the talent he has on that side of the ball. But you can also argue because of that talent, his schemes worked. I mean, no one can doubt, having the best quarterback in the history of the game will make you a better coach. And, with the benefit of one of the greatest tight ends and two of the pre-eminent slot receivers in recent memory, you should do very well. I will give Josh credit for figuring out how to effectively use the talent of Dion Lewis and James White. He really has redefined the importance of a pass catching running back on a Super Bowl caliber team.
Early speculation says current receivers coach Chad O’Shea will get his chance at directing the offense. Time will tell if he’s the right guy for the job. We all can agree, though, that Josh was the right guy for this team. They succeeded, flourished even, under his coordination and I am thankful he helped orchestrate the biggest comeback in Super Bowl history. And, while they did lose, he helped keep the last Super Bowl close when it could have very easily been a blow out. I’m grateful for his time here and hope he’s happy in Indianapolis. That said, I still want Bill and co. to smash him every chance they get.