Josh McDaniels will reportedly not leave the New England Patriots to take over as head coach of the Indianapolis Colts. So what does that mean for Bill Belichick?
Bill Belichick was set to lose both of his coordinators this off-season. Today, the Detroit Lions announced the hire of Pats DC Matt Patricia as head coach, and the Colts did the same with OC Josh McDaniels.
Moments ago, Adam Schefter broke news that has turned the NFL on its head. McDaniels will not head to Indy, and is staying with the Patriots.
“Stunner: Patriots’ OC Josh McDaniels has decided NOT to accept Colts’ HC job and will remain with New England, sources told ESPN,” Schefter’s tweet reads. In about 45 minutes, it has over 14,000 retweets and 19,000 likes.
The Colts are the team that the Patriots faced in the game that led to the Deflategate scandal. Schefter says Kraft will now “forever try and (expletive) that place.”
Naturally, this has sparked a ton of speculation about Bill Belichick. There has already been plenty of talk about when the legendary 65-year old will hang up the hoodie.
However, he is “locked in” to coach next year. In his full report for ESPN, Schefter says that Belichick staying through 2018, and the stability that brings, was a reason for McDaniels to stay.
“McDaniels’ decision to stay could spark speculation that perhaps Belichick’s tenure is about to end, but those close to McDaniels say that isn’t the case — and if it was, he would have been more inclined to leave, a source told ESPN’s Mike Reiss. The bigger factor to McDaniels was that the Patriots, who hadn’t addressed his future until the last week or so, made an ultra-aggressive late push to try to entice him to stay. Had that happened a month or so ago, and there was clarity that Belichick was definitely going to be coach in 2018 (which he decisively is), McDaniels might not have pursued other head-coaching jobs as aggressively as he did.”
So Belichick is back for 2018. However, does this mean that McDaniels is the de facto head coach in waiting?
Nothing like that has been announced, obviously. However, radio host and NFL insider Benjamin Allbright says it is, in fact, part of the deal.
Source told me McD was assured he's the Pats next HC as part of the deal.
We shall see.
— Benjamin Allbright (@AllbrightNFL) February 7, 2018
In following tweets, he raised some good points about how that would work. With the NFL’s Rooney Rule, the Patriots could never officially name a “head coach in waiting.”
Even before the Allbright report, there are plenty of others who jumped on this as a possibility. And it makes some logical sense that McDaniels would leave behind the Colts job for a potentially better opportunity in a few years.
Perfect storm in New England that coulda justified Josh McDaniels sitckin around:
–Fractured Brady/Belichick relationship
—#Patriots losing Super Bowl
–Belichick getting roasted for not playing Malcolm Butler
If there's a logical time to start a new era, it may be now.
— Bonnie Bernstein (@BonnieBernstein) February 7, 2018
“What if I told you you can take over for Bill in 2019?" pic.twitter.com/WvItVQnhoN
— Bill Barnwell (@billbarnwell) February 7, 2018
There's no doubt in my mind there is now a timetable set for Belichick to retire, either after next year or the year after, and McDaniels has been promised the job. That HAS to be it.
— John Stolnis (@FelskeFiles) February 7, 2018
No one believed me when I said Belichick was gonna retire. He either retires now or announces he’s got one more year. #Patriots
— Melissa Eannuzzo (@RadioMelissa) February 7, 2018
Hmmmm, what does this mean? "Coach in waiting" plan in place with a definitive time for Belichick to retire? https://t.co/RYeKAYY8mx
— Paul Zeise (@PaulZeise) February 7, 2018
One of two things are probably true here:
A. Belichick will retire in the next couple years and McDaniels will inherit the job.
B. Andrew Luck's shoulder is done. https://t.co/jKXvifuBB5
— Shawn Ferris (@RealShawnFerris) February 7, 2018
Belichick must be getting ready to retire. https://t.co/4y2S7aAvwJ
— Atlanta Sports Guy (@Atlantasportguy) February 7, 2018
There was already going to be plenty of speculation about how long Bill Belichick will coach the Pats. Add in retirement rumors about Tom Brady and even Rob Gronkowski, and it truly feels like we are nearing the end of the Patriots dynasty, at least as we know it.