The New England Patriots‘ offense had an uncharacteristic season in 2020. After 16 straight years with a top-10 offense in terms of points per game, the Patriots took a major step back and finished 27th in the NFL in scoring this season. But maybe that had to do with Tom Brady leaving for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Just maybe.
The Patriots have plenty of confidence in longtime offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels to turn things around quickly, but he not might be in New England for much longer.
Josh McDaniels’ impressive Patriots career
For the last decade, Tom Brady consistently led the Patriots to one of the top offensive units in the NFL year after year. But the man who has been in charge of that offense didn’t get nearly enough credit for the dominant run New England went on since he took over.
Josh McDaniels, who’s served as the Patriots’ offensive coordinator since 2012 and also spent 2006-08 in the same position, led New England to a top-five scoring offense in each of the first seven seasons of his second stint with the team.
As Brady aged into his 40s, McDaniels morphed the offense to suit his dwindling skillset. Long dropbacks and deep seam routes became short drops and quick hitters to his various weapons. McDaniels amped up the screen game in recent years to let Brady find a groove and reduce the number of hits he took on a given Sunday.
Even with an aging quarterback, rotating personnel, and losses to retirement, McDaniels’ offense remained one of the most efficient in the league.
McDaniels has recently explored head coaching opportunities
McDaniels’ success with the Patriots has made him a hot head coach candidate in recent years. He even accepted a position to become a head coach a few years ago. Well, until he didn’t.
After the Patriots lost to the Eagles in Super Bowl 52, McDaniels agreed to become the next head coach of the Indianapolis Colts. The day after the Super Bowl, the Colts made the announcement via Twitter and stated the introductory press conference would be held on Wednesday. But McDaniels wouldn’t even make it to that press conference.
On Tuesday of that week, the Patriots brought McDaniels in for a meeting and convinced him to stay on board as the offensive coordinator. He’s remained in the same position ever since.
Josh McDaniels could be the next Eagles head coach
Three years after McDaniels flaked on the Colts to stay in New England, the talented offensive coordinator is once again fielding interest to become a head coach. On Sunday morning, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported McDaniels will interview with the Philadelphia Eagles regarding their vacant head coach position later today.
The Eagles have interviewed multiple candidates since firing Doug Pederson, but some have already agreed to other jobs around the league. If McDaniels is serious about leaving New England to become a head coach this time around, the Eagles would make perfect sense.
As for the Patriots, they’re hoping the longtime OC isn’t going anywhere. With Cam Newton leaving town and question marks all over the offensive roster, New England has plenty of work to do if it wants to get back to that top-10 offensive unit. Losing McDaniels would only make matters worse.