NFL Rumors: Patriots' Josh McDaniels Eyed for HC Role by Owners for Mac Jones' Season

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVDecember 26, 2021

ORCHARD PARK, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 06: Offensive Coordinator and Quarterbacks Coach Josh McDaniels of the New England Patriots walks to the field prior to a game against the Buffalo Bills at Highmark Stadium on December 06, 2021 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images)
Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images

New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels is reportedly "garnering head coaching consideration once again," according to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports.

His work with rookie quarterback Mac Jones this season has been "getting attention among owners mulling a potential coaching search."

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has "told others around the league about his belief that McDaniels could be a very successful head coach in this league, sources said, and is strongly endorsing him."

Jones has had a solid rookie season, throwing for 3,168 yards, 18 touchdowns and 10 interceptions while completing 69 percent of his passes. More importantly, the Patriots are 9-5 in his starts. 

Jones' development, coupled with McDaniels' history working with NFL legend Tom Brady, is surely appealing to rebuilding teams with young quarterbacks or an eye on drafting a player at the position this offseason. 

The 45-year-old McDaniels has spent the last 10 years as the Patriots offensive coordinator. In the previous nine seasons, the Pats have ranked top-10 in points scored eight times (and are on pace this season to make it nine) and top-10 in yards six times. 

He also worked as the team's offensive coordinator between the 2006-08 seasons before taking the Denver Broncos' head coaching job. 

That tenure last just two years, marked by the decision to draft Tim Tebow with a first-round pick. While the Broncos did reach the postseason in McDaniels' first season, going 8-8, they were just 3-9 in his second season before he was fired. 

McDaniels then spent one year with the St. Louis Rams as an offensive coordinator before returning to New England in time for its run in the 2011 playoffs that ended with a Super Bowl loss to the New York Giants. 

He also had the chance to return to head coaching in 2018, when he agreed to coach the Indianapolis Colts before reversing course and staying with New England. The Colts even announced him as the next head coach before he flip-flopped. Indy ultimately appointed Frank Reich to the position. 

As for whether that situation might dissuade NFL owners from pursuing McDaniels, La Canfora reported that while the decision "turned off some owners," the longtime offensive coordinator has still "had opportunities to interview for other head coaching jobs in the interim."