With the Patriots officially confirming that Josh McDaniels is now an assistant coach and offensive coordinator for 2012 it is now time to discuss his role with the team for the remainder of the playoffs, especially this week going up against the Denver Broncos. McDaniels coached the Broncos for two seasons, 2009 and 2010. He knows the majority of the players on the Broncos roster, as he coached most of them and/or drafted them, including Tim Tebow.
While Bill O’Brien has been officially introduced as the new head coach at Penn State, he is still the offensive coordinator of the Patriots and will be for the remainder of the playoffs. It is doubtful that McDaniels would just step in and take over the duties from O’Brien. O’Brien will be running the offensive, but McDaniels will be there to offer his support. But could there be another role for McDaniels this week?
With McDaniels coaching in Denver just last season, he is very familiar with the Broncos roster. The Broncos biggest threat is obviously Tim Tebow and McDaniels spent extensive amounts of time with Tebow when he drafted him two years ago. Could McDaniels best be used this week on the defensive side of the ball helping the defense stop Tebow?
Unlike some teams, the Patriots already played and defeated Tebow and the Broncos. They defeated the Broncos 41-23 in Denver on Dec. 18 and while the defense struggled to contain Tebow in the first quarter, the team redesigned their game plan on the fly and ended up holding the Broncos to 10 points in the final three quarters. The Patriots know how to stop Tebow, they just faced him less thana month ago.
Some Broncos players were asked Sunday about what it will be like to face McDaniels and if he could help the Patriots in any way. That idea was shot down by everyone that was asked.
“I mean, it doesn’t matter, really,” cornerback Champ Bailey said to the Boston Globe. “I don’t know how much affect he’s going to have or not. It really doesn’t matter. He’s not on the field. I’m worried about the guys on the field.”
For the people saying that McDaniels will play a major role in the game this coming weekend, they clearly are searching. His role is actually unclear, but working under Bill Belichick you know that he will but put to good use to try and give the Patriots their best chance to win.