New Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels in a November 22 2010: while the head coach of Denver Broncos during the NFL regular season game between the Denver Broncos and the San Diego Chargers at the Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, CA. Photo by: Ric Tapia/NFL.com
At first glance Josh McDaniels new position as the New England Patriots offensive coordinator seems like one of the easiest jobs in the NFL....or the planet for that matter.
The team has Tom Brady one of the game's best quarterbacks and Bill Belichick – who just might be the best coach the NFL has ever seen. The Pats would probably put up massive offensive numbers if Kim Kardashian was their offensive coordinator, Kanye West could double as quarterback coach (a job that on the Patriots require you to be a master of the English language so you can think of hundreds of different ways to tell Tom Brady he's doing a great job in practice).
In one way being the Pats offensive coordinator is akin to being in charge of keeping the ocean moist or supplying sand to the desert, however there is a catch – so much is expected of the Patriots offense that if they perform in a manner that is anything less than mind blowingly phenomenal McDaniels will be viewed as a failure. In a lot of ways being the offensive coordinator of the Patriots is like kicking an extra point – make it and you've done what everyone expected, miss it and the crowd will start screaming for your head French Revolution style.
Fortunately for McDaniels the Patriots offense has a lot going for it next year. As mentioned before they have Brady and Belichick one of the games most lethal duos and barring an injury to Brady or Belichick becoming senile there's no reason they won't continue to dominate the AFC East. In addition, the Patriots already strong receiving corps has been bolstered by the off season addition of Brandon Lloyd. Lloyd will jump start the Pats deep pass game one of the few areas the Pats offense did not excel in last season. Last but not least the Pats offense will benefit from McDaniels skills as a coordinator. Yes, McDaniels was fired by the Denver Broncos after less than two years and yes after he spent one season as the offensive coordinator of the St. Louis Rams they were more than happy to release him so he could join the Patriots for the playoffs. However, despite his failures since leaving the Patriots, McDaniels is a shrewd offensive mind. In Denver McDaniels drafted a popular quarterback named Tim Tebow that most people never thought could make an impact in the NFL . He also did a great job running the offense when he wasn't too busy chasing talented players such as Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshal off the team.
Throughout his career McDaniels has had success as a play caller. Returning to the Patriots will be good not only for his future marketability as a head coach again sometime but also for his development as a coach. Let's also not forget that despite his experience in the league McDaniels is still young. He still has time to learn and there's no better teacher than Belichick, although there might be some more cheerful ones. The return to New England is more than a homecoming for McDaniels it's a chance at redemption. He's been given the reins of one of the best offensive units in the history of the game, his job now is not to screw it up.
What do you think of McDaniels? Will he help/hinder the New England Patriots?