It’s like, how much more Indianapolis Colts and Josh McDaniels could this be? And the answer is none:
After two days of reflection and conversations with the Patriots, New England offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels has decided not to accept the Indianapolis Colts’ head-coaching job, the team confirmed Tuesday night.
“After agreeing to contract terms to become the Indianapolis Colts’ new head coach, New England Patriots assistant coach Josh McDaniels this evening informed us that he would not be joining our team,” the team said in a statement. “Although we are surprised and disappointed, we will resume our head coaching search immediately and find the right fit to lead our team and organization on and off the field.”
LOL. You can believe that this is because he suddenly realized today that his family would have to move if he took the Colts job, but I wouldn’t say that’s entirely plausible. More likely, he expects Belichick to leave the Pats sooner rather than later and thinks he’s the heir apparent (which he’d better be since it’s hard to imagine anyone else hiring him at this point.) The thing is, it’s hard to imagine taking over the Pats in 2019 or 2020 being a very good job. The fan base is beyond spoiled and hypersensitive. Great as he was this year, Brady is liable to have his value collapse overnight at any moment, and the Pats just traded his very viable replacement for three cases of Rice-A-Roni. The key offensive skill players are mostly old and/or dealing with major injury histories. Dante Scarnecchia, who as you could see in the Super Bowl is still doing a phenomenal job, turns 70 next week and having already retired before seems immensely unlikely to stick around for the next administration. The quality of the defensive personnel is abysmal. Who knows what Kraft’s son will be like as the more active owner. This feels rather more like a crash into the ground than a gradual decline. In addition — this is very important! — in this scenario the team will be coached by Josh McDaniels instead of Bill Belichick. Which will probably work out very well for Belichick’s reputation — one thing McDaniels screwing the Colts at the last minute makes pretty clear is that the lack of maturity and professionalism that helped make his first head coaching gig a complete disaster hasn’t gone away. It’s good that Tim Tebow is staying in shape, anyway.
Speaking of McDaniels’s #1 media fluffer, Magary’s Mike Lombardi rant uncovers some real classics. Check out this, or this. The man is an absolute master at creating “laws” out of words next to each other or empty tautologies that produce transparently erroneous results (“Doug Pederson is doing a horrible job in Philadelphia!” “The Dolphins, who were outscored by a cupcake schedule last year, are serious contenders, not like the Eagles!” “Donovan McNabb, who had a 10-year run of good-to-outstanding performance, was lazy, which is the only possible inference for his decline upon joining a dysfunctional organization at age 34.”) I should clarify that I’m not criticizing Lombardi for attacking the hire of Pederson, which was reasonable. Everyone makes bad predictions. What I’m criticizing him for is claiming that as of September 2017 Pederson was doing a bad job, which is just comically inept analysis. The Eagles went from 22nd to 5th in DVOA in Pederson’s first year, and if you prefer more conventional metrics improved by 100 points. They did it with a rookie QB — a very talented one, sure, but being handed someone who was very good but not superlative in the Missouri Valley Football Conference isn’t like being handed Peyton Manning — and an emaciated talent base. If you want to remain skeptical, that’s eminently reasonable; lots of coaches decline after good first years. But comparing him to an NBA coach who went 4-47 is just flatly wrong, and continuing to maintain your silly position after the team got off to a 7-1 start and was obviously one of the best teams in the league in 2017 is even worse. Anyway, I’m guessing that Eagles fans don’t regret the team hiring Pederson rather than McDaniels or Charlie Weis or someone else Lombardi considers qualified.