Patriots

Patriots

For such a long "we have no sports" stretch, we've kind of ignored a significant topic: What's the deal with Josh McDaniels? 

The deal literally is that he's still with the Patriots as the highest-paid offensive coordinator in the NFL, but is he happy after an offseason of teams passing on him and Bill Belichick recommending another staff member to the Giants over him?

How does he feel about the weapons?

Most importantly for all parties, what kind of job is he going to do with Jarrett Stidham? 

Download the MyTeams app for the latest Patriots news and analysis

"Can he do it without Brady?" is a question we'll ask about Belichick for legacy purposes, but it's not like Belichick's got to worry about his next move. 

McDaniels, on the other hand, remains a mystery.

When he walked away from the Colts, we wondered if there was some promise that he was the next Patriots coach. We were told no. Then we saw the reports that he wanted the Browns job a year ago. He seemed destined for one of the jobs this past offseason, but we saw how that unfolded, leaving us to wonder how happy he could have been with Belichick. 

So we don't know what the long-term plan is with McDaniels. Does he want to stay on as offensive coordinator until Belichick retires, or is he more willing to depart for a head coaching job now that the other staples of New England's offense have left? 

 

In either case, it would obviously benefit him greatly to have a good year next season. If he turns a fourth-round pick at quarterback into something, you'd have to imagine other franchises that want stability at head coach and quarterback would set their sights on McDaniels. 

Everything of course all goes back to the Colts decision, because one of two things were going to happen once he came back to New England. 

Scenario 1: He'd make a ton of money as Pats offensive coordinator while making a star of the next long-term starting quarterback, undoubtedly making him either the head coach-in-waiting in New England or one of the most coveted candidates for other teams. 

Scenario 2: He'd make a ton of money as Pats offensive coordinator, but struggle without Brady, leaving the rest of the NFL unsure of what he is without Brady. 

And it is fair to wonder, despite the illustrious career, what McDaniels is with other quarterbacks. So far, we know only of a mixed bag.

Cassel: good. Orton: pretty good. Tebow: Yikes. Bradford, Feeley, Clemens: bad.   

So Stidham could be the one that swings the balance one way or the other. Of course, he's got to actually be good at football. If Stidham stinks here and everywhere else, that isn't McDaniels' fault. 

I thought it was massive that the Patriots were able to keep McDaniels this offseason. It would have been devastating to lose both the quarterback and the offensive coordinator.

But there's new pressure on him now. We're about to learn a lot about McDaniels.