When Josh McDaniels became the Broncos’ new head coach in 2009, the then 33-year-old became the youngest head coach in the NFL — only to be supplanted by 32-year-old Raheem Morris a week later.
McDaniels was heralded for his offensive ingenuity with the Patriots, guiding the NFL’s all-time highest-scoring offense, and was seen as a coach on the rise. Even with all the praise and accolades, though, many thought he wasn’t yet ready to manage his own team — and it turns out he wasn’t.
McDaniels went just 11-17 during his first head coaching stint and didn’t make it through two full seasons in Denver before being fired. Now, after a rebirth in New England this year, the now 36-year-old McDaniels is a hot commodity on the coaching market once again. Only this time, he’d be smart to avoid the circus all together.
In his first season back in New England, McDaniels was a major factor in returning the Patriots’ offense to their place atop the NFL. His role in orchestrating that league-best attack has also restored some credibility to his reputation, still reeling from his failures in Denver. So, while his stock begins to soar once again, NFL executives will undoubtedly prepare to hit the jackpot on what they hope to be Bill Belichick 2.0.
Seven head coaching vacancies opened up on Monday, and a few of them actually seem rather enticing — specifically the Bears and Chargers. But McDaniels will be best served to spend more time developing under Belichick and waiting for the right opportunity.
McDaniels already hinted that he was comfortable in New England, calling any queries “irrelevant” during a conference call on Monday and apparently declining interviews with a few suitors already. That decision may not be easy for someone as competitive as McDaniels, as he certainly still has his eye on leading a team of his own again someday, but it’s the right one.
After spending three years in three different cities, never mind regions of the country — he was the offensive coordinator in St. Louis in 2011 — McDaniels may seek some stability for him and his family. One more season, at least, in New England will help calm the concerns of the constant relocating, and it’s not like there will be any shortage of suitors for his services in the near future.
McDaniels is one of the NFL’s hottest young coaching prospects and he will find a franchise of his own soon enough. But for now he’s best served sticking in New England and maybe getting another Super Bowl ring for his collection.
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Photo via Facebook/Josh McDaniels