Fans of the New England Patriots have fully embraced the return of former offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels to the coaching staff. Since leaving in 2009, McDaniels has been the head coach of the Denver Broncos and the offensive coordinator of the St. Louis Rams, which is where he spent this past regular season. The Rams allowed McDaniels to walk out of the remaining year of his contract to join the Patriots’ coaching staff. McDaniels will serve as an offensive assistant while Bill O’Brien remains with the team throughout the postseason. Once the Patriots’ season is over , O’Brien moves to Pennsylvania to coach Penn State while McDaniels assumes his former role as offensive coordinator.
Nobody has a problem with McDaniels returning after the postseason is over, but some are crying foul that the NFL has allowed him to join the staff now. Given McDaniels’ familiarity with the Broncos players, some think that the Patriots have a competitive advantage having McDaniels jump ship before the complete season is officially over for the Pats.
Mike Klis from the Denver Post feels so strongly about it that he thinks the Broncos and other playoff teams should officially protest the hire. Michael Silver from Yahoo! Sports is in the camp that the Pats have a competitive advantage with McDaniels on the staff, and that there should be a rule in the NFL that prevents a coach from joining another staff before the team’s season is officially over. Apparently, there is no rule preventing this, otherwise the NFL would not have allowed McDaniels to join the staff. Honestly, I never really thought about this until it was brought up, and I’d have to agree with ESPN Boston’s Mike Reiss on the topic:
"“Should it be allowed by the NFL? If I was making the calls, I would say no … There’s something about that that doesn’t feel right to me. But if I’m the Patriots and it’s within the rules, I’m going to do it. This is a coup, why wouldn’t I?”"
Could we see the NFL institute a new rule once the Super Bowl has come and gone? I think it’s almost a sure thing, especially if the Patriots have another dominant offensive performance against the Broncos. Can you hear the Patriot haters crying already?