Patriots

Patriots

Head coaching interviews for Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels with the Rams, 49ers and Jaguars on Saturday took all day. Now comes the process of sorting out three very different situations. 

With two of the teams, McDaniels will be working with a personnel team already in place and a top-three selection at quarterback. That doesn't connote "move-in ready" though. The Rams personnel team of Les Snead and Kevin Demoff has had the first, 10th, second and eighth overall picks the past four years. Jared Goff didn't provide encouraging early returns, Todd Gurley's a good player, Greg Robinson's a bust and Tavon Austin -- who got a $52M contract in August -- is about as good as Jeremy Kerley. Maybe. 

Despite a deep-pocketed owner in Stan Kroenke, some very good defensive players and the league's obvious desire to prop up its entry into the LA market, it's not one would call a team ascending. The Jaguars have a GM in place as well, but it's Dave Caldwell, who went to college with McDaniels at John Carroll University. Their quarterback -- Blake Bortles (third overall pick in 2014) -- regressed in 2016 and is the anti-Brady in terms of mechanics, accuracy and taking care of the ball. Basically, he's a latter-day Bledsoe. The roster may not be better than the Rams but the fact that six of their 13 losses were by five points or fewer hints that they aren't as far away as the Rams are. 

 

Then there's San Francisco. It was murmured Saturday that McDaniels and ESPN analyst Louis Riddick would be a head coach-GM package deal there and are tied at the hip. There's certainly a high regard for Riddick on McDaniels' part but "tied" may overstate it. Still, Niners owner Jed York may be sufficiently chastened by the collapse he's presided over that he'll make his hire with function rather than dysfunction in mind. If that's the case, a McDaniels-Riddick ticket makes sense. With no true franchise quarterback in place and a barren wasteland where the skill players are supposed to be, this is an expansion-team level roster. It will take at least three seasons to get decent, never mind good. 

There's a lot to process for McDaniels. He's got options. And one of them may be taking none of the ones that were presented to him Saturday.