Posted on February 7, 2018, by Bryan Zarpentine
The Indianapolis Colts received stunning news Tuesday night when they learned that Josh McDaniels won’t be their next head coach. It’s been presumed for some time that McDaniels had agreed to become the team’s new coach following the Super Bowl. The Colts had a press conference scheduled for Wednesday to formally introduce McDaniels. But at the 11th hour, McDaniels backed out of the deal. He will continue to serve as offensive coordinator for the New England Patriots.
“After agreeing to contract terms to become the Indianapolis Colts’ new head coach, New England Patriots assistant coach Josh McDaniels this evening informed us that he would not be joining our team,” the Colts said in a statement released Tuesday. “Although we are surprised and disappointed, we will resume our head-coaching search immediately and find the right fit to lead our team and organization on and off the field.”
McDaniels was reportedly working on assembling a coaching staff in Indianapolis as recently as Tuesday. However, he never officially signed a contract with the Colts, allowing him to back out. McDaniels originally met with the Colts while the Patriots had a bye during wild-card weekend. But he couldn’t formally take the job until New England’s season ended.
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By the time the Patriots advanced to the Super Bowl, it seemed all but certain that McDaniels was leaving for Indianapolis after the season. However, there have been rumblings thoughout the playoffs that something wasn’t quite right.
McDaniels had a second meeting with Colts owner Jim Irsay that appeared to be a formality. Instead, it seems that McDaniels used the meeting to tell Irsay that he needed more time to mull over his decision. In the end, McDaniels wasn’t comfortable leaving New England, leaving the Colts hanging.
Before McDaniels could make the move to Indianapolis official, he reportedly met with Patriots owner Robert Kraft. Apparently, Kraft told McDaniels how much his efforts were appreciated in New England. McDaniels has undoubtedly been an important part of the team’s success during the Bill Belichick era. According to reports, the Patriots also offered McDaniels a new contract to help convince him to stay in New England.
There’s little doubt that McDaniels would like to be an NFL head coach again. His 11-17 record in less than two seasons with the Broncos in 2009 and 2010 is a black mark on his resume he would like to rectify. But at age 41, McDaniels doesn’t need to rush into anything. In fact, by staying in New England, he could be well positioned to one day take over for Belichick, who may be approaching the end of his career.
Meanwhile, the Colts are back at square one in their coaching search. In fact, they may be a little behind square one. Most of the candidates they interviewed during their initial coaching search have taken other jobs. That likely means they will have to interview a new set of candidates who didn’t get called the first time around. To make matters worse, there are lingering questions about Andrew Luck’s health, even though he is reportedly close to throwing, providing the team with some semblance of optimism.
In the end, little changes of McDaniels. His reputation outside of New England will likely take a hit. But he will keep plugging along as an important figure for the Patriots. The Colts, meanwhile, are in a world of trouble as they re-start their head coaching search with great urgency but not much direction.