Josh McDaniels is usually up for a head coaching spot every single year; however, he remains in New England for 2020. Will he ever be a head coach again?
Josh McDaniels joined the New England Patriots organization in 2001. Nearly 20 years later, he will face his toughest challenge yet.
McDaniels has only coached three seasons in which Tom Brady wasn’t on his roster. At a young age of 44, it appears as if McDaniels will have many more years to come without Brady leading his offense.
McDaniels leads one of the best offensive attacks year in and year out, and he has won six Super Bowls with New England. Many thought with McDaniels returning to New England that Brady would as well; however, we all know that wasn’t the case.
If McDaniels is to become a head coach again in the NFL, he needs to capitalize on his time away from Brady, and do so quickly.
Many acknowledge the genius of McDaniels’ complex and efficient offense that has been “machine-like” for the better part of the last decade. However, there are some blemishes with McDaniels, and the pundits are quick to call out that his offenses were almost always led by Brady and supervised by Bill Belichick.
Can McDaniels be a good coach without Brady and Belichick?
Sure, there were times in which McDaniels didn’t have Brady.
Most recently in 2016, New England went 3-1 during Brady’s suspension, and LeGarrette Blount won player of the month. The Patriots also went 258 pass attempts without an interception in 2016, and Brady was the one who snapped the streak!
In 2008, McDaniels was without Brady again for all but the first series of the first game. McDaniels ran out Matt Cassel, who won 10 games that year and had the fourth best completion percentage in New England history.
Oh, and by the way, that was Cassel’s first season as a starter. That season, New England had the eighth-best offense in the league in terms of points and the fifth-best in terms of yards.
“Well, Belichick runs the offense, too” some would say. But McDaniels did have his time away from Bill for a few years.
In 2009, McDaniels got his chance to become a head coach in Denver, where the Broncos went 8-8, then 3-9 the following season before he got fired in Week 13.
McDaniels’ offenses ranked middle of the pack both years, but his defense was the real issue. In 2010, the Broncos defense ranked last in the league in both yards allowed and points allowed.
Yes, we know McDaniels isn’t known for his defense, but Kyle Orton did have the best season of his career, putting up best marks in yards, touchdowns, and passer rating. McDaniels also worked with Brandon Lloyd in Denver and put him in an offense that had him lead the league in yards receiving.
Those Denver Broncos teams were still disappointing, but his offense wasn’t too bad.
In 2011, McDaniels went to St. Louis, where he went back to the offensive coordinator role that he had thrived in during years past. The Rams offense toted Steven Jackson that year and he hit 1000 yards on the ground, but that was the only real accomplishment. The Rams finished the season 2-14 and had the worst offense in the league in terms of points.
Another failure without Belichick and without Brady.
So will McDaniels be a head coach again? I think he will. He is 44 years young and has coached a successful and complicated offense.
McDaniels needs to find a head coaching job soon though. It was only two years ago when he turned around his plane that was heading to Indianapolis because he wanted to give it another shot with the Patriots to get a sixth Lombardi Trophy — which he did.
Many were worried that McDaniels might leave this offseason, but he is back once again with New England.
The reason McDaniels is up for a head coaching spot almost every other year is because the Patriots are one of the best teams every single year with one of the best offenses.
Will it be the same in 2020? Will the Hoyer/Stidham-led Patriots offense be tops in the league? Will they even reach the playoffs?
Time will tell, but if the Patriots struggle — and struggle for several years — then I’m not too sure about the opportunities for McDaniels. However, if he can create magic from this Patriots offense, then I’d say even more head coaching spots will open up for McDaniels.