Josh McDaniels went from worst to first today. McDaniels, who served as the Rams' offensive coordinator this season, took a job as an offensive assistant coach with the New England Patriots, effective immediately, according to The Associated Press (h/t Los Angeles Times).
It isn't normal for a first place team to add an offensive assistant for the playoffs, but then again, this hasn't been a normal week for the Patriots.
Bill O'Brien, the Pats' current offensive coordinator, has been named the next head coach at Penn State. O'Brien will remain with the Pats for the remainder of the playoffs, so McDaniels will assist him during that time and then take over as the full-time offensive coordinator next season.
McDaniels served as the Patriots offensive coordinator from 2006-2008 and was the person calling the shots for the Pats' record setting offense in 2007. Since the Pats still use the same system and terminology, McDaniels should be able to step right in and contribute.
The question Rams' fans have is, "Does that mean Brandon Lloyd is going to New England?"
Lloyd played for McDaniels in Denver, where McDaniels was the head coach from 2009-2010, and had the best years of his career in McDaniels' scheme. With the Rams having a down year, there was constant speculation that several members of the Rams' coaching staff might not return next season.
Where will Brandon Lloyd play next season?
In an interview with Jim Thomas (St. Louis Post Dispatch) earlier this year, Lloyd talked about what might happen if McDaniels didn't return to St. Louis. He had this to say:
"I can't even lie about that," Lloyd said. "I'm tied to McDaniels. He uses me differently than other offensive coordinators used me in my entire career. He uses me as an every-play receiver. The short game, mid-range game, gimmick passes, deep balls."
"I do everything in this offense as opposed to other coordinators who would just run me off as the deep guy; run me off into double coverage and then say I'm not open. So I really like how Josh uses me within the offense. I'm extremely comfortable in the offense."
Lloyd wasn't finished. If there was any doubt about how much he wants to play for McDaniels, he had this to say:
"Probably No. 1 (as a factor)," Lloyd replied. "Because I want to be successful, and I want to earn whatever money I'm making. I want to be used in ways where I feel comfortable and I can be successful. And Josh knows how to do that."
Lloyd has been the best Rams' wideout since "The Greatest Show On Turf" era. If the Rams' can't resign him, it would be a big loss, and a terrible setback in the development of young QB Sam Bradford.