Josh McDaniels to the St. Louis Rams. The Rams dodged a bullet today by replacing one offensive guru with another.
St. Louis recently loss their offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur who took the head coaching job for the Cleveland Browns. That left the Rams scrambling to get a coordinator who could lead this young offense. The Rams found their man in Josh McDaniels.
ESPN is reporting that the former Denver Broncos coach will take over the offensive coordinator duties. That comes as great news to Rams fans. This means an already functional offense will become a great one. Nobody could be happier than quarterback Sam Bradford. If he isn't, he should be.
Here is how the recent hire affects the young gunslinger.
Josh McDaniels could care less for the molasses-paced running games. The object of the game is to score a touchdown, and the quickest way to do that is pass the ball down field.
McDaniels loves to pass. The Broncos never got a running game going because their head coach could care less about one. It is a good thing that Steve Spagnuolo is the head coach in St. Louis. He will make sure there is a healthy balance of plays.
But the certainty here is that Bradford will have many more attempts next season.
McDaniels runs the spread offense. Coincidentally, it is the same offense that Bradford ran in college. The offense is hit and miss with most teams. The one thing it needs is a precise quarterback.
With three to five receivers out on the wings, there will be a ton of options to go through. That offense is perfect for Bradford. He is calm in the pocket and adept at previewing the field. He also has a great running back to take the ball when it is called for in Steven Jackson.
Josh McDaniels just gets quarterbacks. He knows what they need and how to coach them. Tebow was spurned by every team except for the Broncos. McDaniels took a chance on him for the intangibles he brings to the table.
To end the season, Tebow looked every bit like a true NFL starting quarterback. Now imagine what Josh could do with a talent like Sam Bradford.
Josh McDaniels must be doing something right because he was in high demand in the past few days. The best part of the signing has to be that the division rivals the Seattle Seahawks don't. Pete Carroll knows talent when he sees it. He saw something in McDaniels and made a hard press to sign him.
McDaniels chose instead to go the Rams. Their loss is a huge gain for St. Louis. Now they can say they have the best offensive coordinator on the open market.
The Rams now have an offensive wunderkind. Head coach Steve Spanuolo even called him a genius of sorts. His affection for the former Broncos is important. Spagnuolo can rest easy that matters on the offense are taken care of.
Now he can finally concentrate on his bread and butter: defense. The Rams run a high risk, high reward defense that takes a ton of coaching and precision. Spagnuolo can work out the kinks in his second year while McDaniels retools the offense.
Pat Shurmur is gone after only one season at the helm of the Rams offense. The introduction of Josh McDaniels means a great many things. One of those things is stability.
It is clear that McDaniels would ultimately like to be the head coach of an NFL team again. The sad truth for him is that ship has sailed for the time being. No team in their right mind would hire him, yet.
The Rams are a perfect venue for him to rebuild his career. That will take time and results. St. Louis should expect five or more seasons of McDaniels giving his all to the team.
Josh McDaniels brings a winning persona to the Rams locker room. As a member of the Patriots for eight seasons, he won two Super Bowls and four AFC titles. He understands what it takes to win. That is an important aspect for a coach taking on a young offensive staff.
The Rams are still learning the ropes. Many of the receivers and other skilled players are only a couple years removed from college. Challenging them to be better will be the name of the game from day one.
When Tom Brady went down with a season-ending injury in 2008, the Patriots turned to Matt Cassel to get them through.
Cassel was fantastic. His passer rating was second only to this seasons wherein he had the help of Dwayne Bowe reeling in his passes. The magic doesn't end there. Kyle Orton saw his passer rating shoot up 10 points under Josh McDaniels.
Now you begin to see what is in store for Bradford. He is an elite talent who is still growing in the league. Having a quarterback guru at his side is a priceless commodity.
Josh McDaniels is a great coach. It just so happens he is not a great head coach. A lot of the Broncos issues were due to horrible personnel decisions. The passing game was great, but the defense and roster moves were horrendous. Broncos fans will never forgive the man for getting rid of Peyton Hillis.
But he does not have that power in St. Louis. He will revamp an offense that was near the bottom of every category. The Rams should feel confident that they can at least replicate the passing success in Denver. They finished seventh in passing yardage.
They might have fared better on the run if they had someone left that could run the ball. The Rams have plenty in that realm so shouldn't worry about a rushing decrease.
The Rams were only one win from the playoffs following a disastrous year prior. 2011 will be an even better year for them.
The NFC West will still be soft but the Rams are dedicated to growth. By hiring McDaniels, the Rams have made it clear they will put an emphasis on making the offense better. You can bet they will target one of the great young receivers in the draft. Julio Jones could fall to their level.
But most importantly, an improved offense means a better overall team. There will be less three-and-outs to exhaust their defense. Bradford will have more targets open and will have an overall better experience. This is a vital signing for the Rams. They, and Bradford, are much better for having made it.