I have never seen anything like this before.
Just days following the New England Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien agreeing to be the next head coach of Penn State, but choosing to stay in New England for the remainder of the season, the Patriots have signed their replacement—and that replacement is a familiar face that once groomed O'Brien to be the offensive playcaller the one he is today.
News broke prior to noon that the Patriots have rehired St. Louis Rams offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and he will start immediately as an offensive assistant while ultimately becoming the offensive coordinator in 2012. When the news broke, thoughts were simply flying through my head—so, here's five of them.
1. Immediate Start
Well, this is somewhat of an interesting concept. Bill O'Brien will remain the offensive coordinator for the remainder of the team's playoff run while Josh McDaniels is just an offensive assistant. I actually love this idea. In this way, McDaniels can still share some input while re-learning "the Patriot way."
2. McDaniels Experience in 2011
Josh McDaniels may have had a putrid 2011 season with the Rams, as his offense finished 2011 ranking 31st in the NFL—however, his experience this past season still is something to offer. McDaniels' Rams faced off against the Cincinnati Bengals, Pittsburgh Steelers and the Baltimore Ravens this past season—even though St. Louis may have lost every one of those game, but that's still something to offer if the Patriots have to prepare for one of those teams.
3. McDaniels' and Belichick's Relationship Together
Unlike Eric Mangini, Josh McDaniels left Bill Belichick's coaching staff on a good note. The two remained in touch when McDaniels was head coach of the Denver Broncos, and I am sure that McDaniels made several phone calls looking for advice out of Belichick. You can definitely assume that the two have a very strong bond, as why would McDaniels have been rehired so quickly?
4. Best Possible Replacement
No offense to Bill O'Brien, but his replacement is actually a huge upgrade—Josh McDaniels is the man that is responsible for why New England's offense is the way it is today. McDaniels was the man that was calling the plays back in New England's record setting 2007 season when Tom Brady threw an NFL record 50 touchdowns while leading the team to a perfect 16-0 regular season.
5. McDaniels and New England's Two Tight Ends
Not much has changed since McDaniels left back in 2008—but there have been two huge additions to the offense. While the team cut ties with Randy Moss, they also brought in two of the NFL's most dynamic and emerging tight ends in Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez. I cannot wait to see what McDaniels does next season with these two tight ends, as they're two of the most lethal receivers that the league has to offer.
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