New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels once again is one of the most popular NFL head coaching candidates.
McDaniels was asked about these rumors during his media conference call Monday morning, and he was adamant that Saturday night's AFC Wild Card Game against the Tennessee Titans is his only area of focus.
“I’m 100 percent fully invested in getting ready for Tennessee and trying to put our best performance of the season out there on Saturday night,” McDaniels said.
“We have a lot of work to do. That’s where my focus will be. That’s where it’s at now, and it’ll stay there. That’s the best thing for our team. It’s the best thing for me. We’re one of 12 teams that have an opportunity to compete in the postseason. And that’s the only way I’ll ever do it.”
The Patriots offense has struggled throughout the season, and Sunday's shocking home loss to the Miami Dolphins highlighted several areas of weakness for New England. McDaniels has a tough job this week trying to find some adjustments that his offense can make to be more productive. Therefore, McDaniels was in no mood Monday to discuss potential coaching jobs.
“With all due respect to the question, I’m not even aware of any of that stuff at this point,” McDaniels said. “When that stuff is presented to me or discussed with me or whatever, then we’ll deal with it appropriately. But honestly, it’s pretty easy for me in terms of my formula -- I’m the offensive coordinator of the Patriots. We have a lot of work to do. We can improve in a lot of areas to try to get ready for this week. It’s our biggest game of the year against certainly the best team we’ve played. This is a postseason game, so our players deserve that, our coaches deserve that, and that’s what they’re going to get from me.”
This isn't an unfamiliar situation for McDaniels, who has received head coaching interest from several teams since he returned to the Patriots in 2012. He nearly left New England to take the Indianapolis Colts head coach job after the 2017 season but changed his mind very late in the process.
McDaniels' first stint as an NFL head coach came with the Denver Broncos in 2009. The Broncos went 8-8 during McDaniels' first year in charge, but they fired him in 2010 after a 3-9 start.
McDaniels has been the Patriots offensive coordinator since 2012, and he's considered one of the best offensive minds in the league. He deserves a second chance at being a head coach, but he also needs to be smart about which jobs he pursues. The Browns, for example, just fired a head coach for the third time in the last 15 months. Leaving a stable organization like the Patriots to join a poorly run franchise like the Browns would be a bad decision by McDaniels.