"James Coughlin: Josh McDaniels has spoken openly about his desire to be a head coach again. There has been interest from other teams the last two offseasons and he will likely have to take a job sooner rather than later How important are the first four games for him to showcase what he can do with a quarterback not named Brady?"
Connor Fulton: While an offensive faceplant in the first four games would reflect poorly on McDaniels, for the most part the dye has been cast; McDaniels clearly has an exceptional offensive mind and will be a wanted man during the annual head coach carousel after the regular season finishes. Of course, it wouldn’t look great if Brady assumes the ropes after a poor month of September and turns the ship around, as that would indicate that Brady is more of a catalyst to McDaniels’ success than McDaniels himself. To answer the question directly, the first four games are marginally more important for McDaniels than a typical start to the regular season.
Cyrus Geller: For McDaniels himself, it will be huge for him. If he really wants to leave and become a head coach elsewhere, it would really help his cause to put up big numbers in the first four weeks of the season with Jimmy Garoppolo under center. With that said, I think he has already proven over the last couple years that he is a great offensive mind, and even if Garoppolo struggles, McDaniels probably won’t have a tough time finding a head coaching position in the future.
Hal Bent: For McDaniels these first four games without Tom Brady is the final exam for him. If Garoppolo struggles his head coaching possibilities thin out considerably. I believe he was underrated in Denver as he did bring in some solid players via the draft (Demaryius Thomas, Zane Beadles, Eric Decker, David Bruton, Robert Ayers, etc) but made the one huge mistake of drafting Tim Tebow. The knock on him is he never won in the NFL without Tom Brady so he absolutely has to hit it out of the park with Jimmy G. He may never live down drafting Tebow, but a strong start by Garoppolo could catapult him to the top of the head coaching list in 2017.
Stay tuned for another Musket Fire Roundtable next week! Go Pats.