Has Josh McDaniels’ stock dipped on the head coaching front?

Josh McDaniels has indicated on several occasions he would love another chance to be a head coach in the NFL.
And, at different times during his most recent tenure in New England, the Patriots offensive coordinator has been a hot commodity, and a leading candidate to fill vacancies.
He just hasn’t taken jobs, backed out of them, or was passed over.
With Tom Brady moving on, McDaniels had a chance this season to really enhance his profile. He had the chance to help revitalize Cam Newton’s career, and reconfigure the Patriots offense around his skillset.
He’s done that.
Only Newton has struggled. And by extension, so has the offense.
After Thursday night’s loss, McDaniels was criticized on some fronts for having an offensive game plan that was too basic, and too vanilla, to even compete with the Rams.
On the flipside, there have been those who have come to his defense, namely Newton.
The question?
Has McDaniels stock dropped given how ineffective the offense has been, beyond running the football?
Maybe, but not likely.
The offensive woes this season come with an asterisk, as not many offensive coordinators would be able to get much out of a unit bereft of receiving talent, the year after Brady’s departure.
And, given Newton’s issues passing the football, that’s also put a wrench in what McDaniels can call, much less map out beforehand. ESPN analyst Damien Woody doesn’t believe this year’s offensive sample should be held against McDaniels.
“I think if you hold it against him, I think you’re doing him a disservice considering the personnel that’s been on the New England Patriots offense. I actually think they’re doing better than their personnel says they should be doing,” Woody said when reached Friday. “He’s not going to be the hottest name … he might not be the first name that rattles off, but I don’t know why you wouldn’t want to interview Josh McDaniels considering his body of work.”
Perhaps the worst blemish on McDaniels resume was leaving the Indianapolis Colts in a lurch in February of 2018 after agreeing to take their head coaching job, but backing out a day before the press conference to formally announce his hiring.
NFL Network analyst Brian Billick, a former Super Bowl-winning head coach, agreed that this year’s McDaniels sample probably won’t have much bearing one way or the other. He feels the bail out on the Colts is more impactful.
“I don’t know if the one year under the circumstances they’re dealing with now is going to diminish his stock,” Billick said of McDaniels when reached earlier in the week. “I think the bigger concern is will he actually leave given the fact he’s been through this, and at the last minute, pulled out of it.
“That would probably be the bigger concern, ‘Are you really interested in coming, or not?’’’ Billick added. “No one likes to be taken down that path. But I don’t think this one year will factor in much. He has a large enough body of work, that he’ll still get some interest, if he shows an interest in leaving.”
Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh, Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, Panthers offensive coordinator Joe Brady are just a few names likely to be in the mix with McDaniels and others.
In an offense-driven league, where quarterback developers and so-called quarterback whisperers have become so important, the offensive assistants seem to have a leg up.
Bieniemy should be one of the first hires as part of Andy Reid’s coaching tree. Reid has already spun off John Harbaugh, Doug Pederson, Sean McDermott and Matt Nagy. And Bieniemy, given the work he’s done with Patrick Mahomes, is more than worthy of getting a shot.
Currently, the open jobs include Atlanta, where Raheem Morris has done a good job on an interim basis, Detroit and Houston. Other jobs will open up after the season, namely the Jets, and possibly Jacksonville.
The L.A. Chargers could be another one, especially with Anthony Lynn on the hot seat. There seems to be some traction behind McDaniels possibly winding up there, given Tom Telesco, L.A’s general manager, went to school with McDaniels at John Carroll University. So that bears watching.
While McDaniels already had one failed head coaching stint in Denver, he revived his career returning to Foxboro.
The 44-year old has been a part of all six championships alongside Bill Belichick, the last three as offensive coordinator during his second stint.
In some circles he’s been praised for the job he’s done this year post-Brady. In others, there’s been criticism. Whatever the case, McDaniels will be in the discussion for many of the openings, no matter the Patriots plight this season.
“You either like Josh McDaniels, or you don’t. There’s always going to be a question, if you’re coming from a relationship with someone like Tom Brady, ‘Well, was it just Brady?’’’ said Billick. “But he’s already been away (from the Patriots), had some modicum of success, and that didn’t block people’s interest in him this last go-round. His lack of real success in Denver, St. Louis (as a coordinator) didn’t seem to diminish people’s interest in him. I don’t know if this would.”
Newton’s future
While McDaniels should get another chance, how about Newton?
How much damage has the Patriots quarterback done in terms of resurrecting his career?
While he’s been terrific in the locker room, and done all the right things in conforming to the Patriots’ way, his on-field exploits aren’t going to attract many suitors.
He hasn’t been able to throw the football effectively on a consistent basis. His mechanics aren’t good, and there’s a concern he isn’t past the shoulder trouble that’s plagued him throughout his career. He has one of the worst passer ratings in the league (78.9) along with a woeful 181 yards per game passing average, also among the worst.
He hasn’t been helped by having a stable of receivers that lacks playmakers, along with the worst tight end room in the NFL.
“Look at what Cam has been working with,” said Woody, “and you tell me how many guys can come into New England, and just put up numbers with the type of players New England has on offense. Hell, Tom Brady wanted to get out because he knew this wasn’t sustainable with the personnel.”
All true, but his issues with accuracy also stand out. Whether he has the personnel or not, he still hasn’t thrown the football anywhere near an elite level.
“For getting a big contract, this hasn’t helped,” said Billick. “There are going to be serious questions in terms of what he’s got left, and how productive can he be. He might have to go on another short-term contract, to try and get the big one. It’s hard for me to see someone rushing in with a long-term mega-deal.
“I think there will still be interest, just not at the level he was anticipating coming to New England for a year.”
The Brady Chronicles 
On Thursday night, during his Westwood One appearance at halftime of the Chargers/Raiders game, Tom Brady was asked about L.A. phenom Justin Herbert. The rookie quarterback has already thrown 27 touchdown passes, which ties an NFL rookie record previously set by Baker Mayfield in 2018 he’ll soon break. Of late, Herbert has also led a pair of come-from-behind wins, scoring on the final drive each time.
The former Oregon star, taken by the Chargers with the sixth overall pick, has definitely caught Brady’s attention.
“I’ve watched a lot of him this year, and he’s so impressive. He’s got the incredible arm, just a great arm. He’s a very talented passer of the football. I won’t say just a thrower, he can really fit balls into places that are very unique for NFL quarterbacks, and he’s also very athletic. He’s made a lot of plays outside the pocket. He’s had some monster games … so he’s pretty impressive.”
What does Brady think a young quarterback needs to be successful?
Along with a good work ethic, Brady touched on a surrounding cast, which the Patriots should be mindful of when they draft their next quarterback.
“You got to be surrounded by talented people, coaches that help develop you,” said Brady. “And, you gotta work hard at it. I think you gotta understand the things you need to improve on, and work on those things every single day.”
The Brady-Arians dynamic
One more Brady Chronicles item. Bucs veteran running back LeSean McCoy was on “The Michael Irvin Podcast” and had some interesting things to say about Brady.
McCoy was asked about an alleged rift between Brady and his new head coach, Bruce Arians, who has been critical of his six-time Super Bowl winning quarterback. McCoy claimed there were no issues between Brady and the head coach.
“If coach said this, coach said that, (Brady’s) approach is like … he’s the coach, I’m the player, and that’s how it works,” McCoy said about the dynamic between the two. “It’s like his mindset is different. It’s like you can’t affect him. … You won’t see it because his mind is do, like, developed. … So, when I see the media — and that’s their job — try to stir it up … it (doesn’t) even affect Tom because from Monday to Friday, to Sunday, Coach Arians and Brady, their relationship is tight.”
Stocking Stuffers 
Just passing along a couple of suggestions for stocking stuffers with Christmas at the end of the week. Books work for stuffers or gifts, and there are a few that have come out this year that work for any Patriots fan.
Bob Hyldburg, a Patriots historian extraordinaire, recently published “Relive Patriots History.” It’s fun, it’s a little quirky, and filled with tons of trivia and information dating back to 1960.
Jerry Thornton, a Barstool Sports contributor, and co-host of their NFL podcast Laces Out, put out “Six Rings,” which revisits the Super Bowl history of the Patriots championships to this point. Thornton relives each Super Bowl run with great detail, and plenty of humor.
And, Jeff Benedict’s, “The Dynasty,” which was released earlier in the year, unveils some new insights, revelations and details about the two-decade run of dominance. Highly recommend all of these books.
 
 
 

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