St. Louis Rams offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels is set to return to the New England Patriots and serve as an offensive assistant coach, according to ESPN Insider Adam Schefter. McDaniels will then be elevated to offensive coordinator after the Patriots’ season is over and Bill O’Brien leaves to fully assume his duties at Penn State as their new head coach. While McDaniels’ return was expected, what was not necessarily expected was his immediate return to the team.
McDaniels provides the Patriots with some immediate help and knowledge, aside from being an extra set of eyes and brains. As ESPN Boston’s Mike Reiss points out, McDaniels has game-planned against 7 out of the 12 teams currently in the playoffs – Giants, Ravens, Packers, Saints, Bengals, Steelers and 49ers – as the Rams’ offensive coordinator. Not only has McDaniels put together game plans against those teams, but he has reviewed film after the game and noted how those teams schemed against his offense, which is essentially the Patriots’ offense, albeit tailored to the Rams’ personnel.
That kind of experience heading into next week’s opponent, which will likely be either the Bengals or the Steelers, is invaluable. The selection of McDaniels to take over as offensive coordinator after the season also ensures a smooth, seamless transition from one coordinator to the next. The Pats have struggled in the past transitioning to new coordinators, and the team still doesn’t have a named defensive coordinator, though safeties coach Matt Patricia has been calling plays.
Speaking of no true defensive coordinator, any thoughts and hopes of a Romeo Crennel return to assume that role have been dashed. The Kansas City Chiefs are retaining Crennel as their next head coach. He had served as their interim head coach after Todd Haley was fired, and went 2-1. He will now have that “interim” tag removed.