Josh McDaniels is spurning the Colts and deserves to be roasted, but let’s not pretend like this isn’t his best move.
They say there’s a moment in every relationship where you either get out or stay the long haul. No matter if it’s a healthy relationship, one that is crappy, or one that doesn’t have a future. It’s called the point of no return and once you’ve passed it, there’s no going back.
Josh McDaniels got as close to the point of no return as you possibly can and still be able to turn your back. On Tuesday morning it was announced that the weeks of speculation about McDaniels becoming the next Indianapolis Colts head coach. It was such a sure thing that coaches were being hired to his staff and Indy had called off all other interviews with potential candidates. By the end of the night, McDaniels had decided to stay in New England and the Colts were left holding the bag.
It’s a garbage move in just about every regard, but it’s probably the best thing he could have done for himself.
Think about what McDaniels was getting into. Indianapolis is in a terribly unstable position with an uncertain future. Andrew Luck’s shoulder might never heal and he could end up being half the quarterback prophet he once looked to be. There are holes all over the roster, McDaniels wouldn’t have full creative control over the construction of the team, and the AFC South is lowkey going to be one of the best divisions in football next year. His massive failure in Denver needs to be accounted for too, as the scars of that will never heal and might make him apprehensive to get into another position like that — which Indianapolis could be.
There’s no doubting that McDaniels is taking the easy way out; cowering and running from a challenge. But if that’s what he thinks is best for his career, there are worse places to run and hide than in New England with the greatest quarterback to ever play the game and the greatest mind to ever coach it. McDaniels is not crawling back to Tampa Bay, Cleveland, or someplace that is a plateau of terrible — he’s going back to a Super Bowl caliber team.
It’s also worth mentioning that McDaniels was arguably the best part about the Patriots season this year. Matt Patricia’s defense was one of the worst units in football for the first half of the season and then fell back into a crater in the Super Bowl. Bill Belichick is the greatest coach of all-time, but his decision to bench Malcolm Butler is being scrutinized to no end. Meanwhile, McDaniels coached a game where his quarterback threw for over 500 yards and his offense scored 33-points. Of all the things to point to as the thing that went wrong in New England this year, McDaniels isn’t on the list.
Licking his wounds of public scorn for another season is a small price to pay in order to then have the pick of the litter in 2019. Teams will not take him out of consideration to be their next head coach, that’s not how this works. Someone will either be desperate enough to give him what he wants, or there will be a more desirable situation that falls into his lap. It might end up that he doesn’t have to go anywhere, and is the heir-apparent to one of the greatest football dynasties ever. McDaniels, like him or not, has worked too hard to settle for what he deems is less.
That’s grossly unfair to Colts fans, who frankly deserve better than someone who sees them that way. But McDaniels can’t be killed for doing what he thinks is right for his own career — the only question is will it end up paying off in the end?