After some late questions about it, Josh McDaniels is indeed going to become the next head coach of the Indianapolis Colts.
After a second interview with the Indianapolis Colts seemed more like a planning meeting, Pro Football Talk passed on ”increasing chatter” that Josh McDaniels would instead remain New England Patriots’ offensive coordinator after the Super Bowl. McDaniels would not talk about it, which only added fuel to the speculation he would stay in New England. But on Tuesday, the Colts have announced McDaniels is indeed going to be their next head coach.
McDaniels was head coach of the Denver Broncos for less than two seasons (2009-2010), with a 11-17 record. After a one-year stint as St. Louis Rams’ offensive coordinator in 2011, he went back to the Patriots as offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach and had been there since.
McDaniels has consistently surfaced as a head coaching candidate in recent years, but he has had the luxury of finding the right fit for his second chance. As Patriots’ executives have started to spread out around the league into general manager gigs, most notably with the Detroit Lions and Tennessee Titans, McDaniels became an easy candidate for those jobs. Not coincidentally, former Patriots’ defensive coordinator Matt Patricia has taken the Lions’ job.
McDaniels will be officially announced as Colts’ head coach during a Wednesday press conference. He has surely received some assurance regarding the health of quarterback Andrew Luck’s shoulder behind the scenes, otherwise taking the job would look foolish.
But it’s worth noting former Patriot Jacoby Brissett is also on the depth chart in Indianapolis. During the pre-draft process in 2016, McDaniels surely played some role in the evaluation that led to the Patriots using a third-round pick (No. 91 overall) on Brissett as he came out of NC State. So if Luck is somehow not ready for Week 1 next season, McDaniels will have a quarterback he’s familiar with as a fallback option.
With his first stint as a head coach well behind him, and lessons learned, McDaniels is in line to be better the second time around. But time will tell if the talent level on the Colts’ roster will allow that to be reflected in wins and losses.