By Antonino Buccellato
Shanahan was let go Dec. 30 after 14 seasons, that included two Super Bowls trophies.
Terms of the deal are not available yet, nor the length of the contract.
Josh McDaniels joined the Patriots in 2001 and served as a defensive coaching assistant until 2003.
A year later, he became the team's quarterbacks coach.
After offensive coordinator Charlie Weis left the team in 2005, McDaniels called the offensive plays.
In 2006, McDaniels was officially promoted to offensive coordinator, while still coaching the team's quarterbacks.
In the 2007 NFL season, with McDaniels orchestrating the offense, the Patriots set NFL records, scoring 75 touchdowns (67 on offense; 50 passing, and 17 rushing) and 589 points, creating rumors that McDaniels might leave the Patriots for a head coaching job.
This past season, mostly because of the Brady’s injury in Week One, the Patriots scored a more normal 43 TDs (21 passing – 21 rushing, and one by return), and 410 points.
He inherits a prolific offense led by QB Jay Cutler, who already threw 25 TDs last season on 4,526 yards. McDaniels may help Cutler improve on his high interceptions number of 18.
Matt Cassel threw only 11 picks in 2008 while passing for 21 scores and 3,693 yards.
It will be interesting to see how he utilizes the crowded backfield and which coordinators he will hire.
More importantly, he will need to evaluate their current defensive coordinators and decide whether or not to retain them or hire new ones.