The week that was
Jim Rodriguez: Josh McDaniels saga makes a lot of headlines, little sense
So there was Josh McDaniels cleaning out his office at One Patriot Place. A five-time Super Bowl winner as member of the Patriots staff...the last two titles as offensive coordinator.
Like he did once before, it was time to leave the comforts of one road in, one road out of Foxborough to be a head coach in the National Football League.
His first venture didn’t go so well. 11-17 in not quite two seasons with the Broncos. But there was always a job waiting for him in the Belichick regime.
McDaniels is to the pro game what Lane Kiffin is to college. Young. Fiery. Great at his job. McDaniels also has Tom Brady’s ear. So much, if not all, of the team’s success is Brady’s right arm and how well he works with and trusts McDaniels.
That cache gives you something we all strive for in life, leverage.
Not surprisingly, the calls to be a head coach came again. This time it would be different for McDaniels. He wanted to go to a place he would feel comfortable. A place with an established quarterback. He found that with the Indianapolis Colts. Just one problem: the Colts may be Belichick’s greatest nemesis.
It was the Colts that complained to the league about pass interference rules after losing to the Patriots.
It was the Colts who erased a 21-3 AFC Championship game deficit to the Pats sending Peyton Manning’s to his first Super Bowl win.
It was the Colts who blew the whistle spawning deflate-gate.
There is no love lost between owners, Jim Irsay and Robert Kraft. And now Indy has the man who has Tom Brady’s ear.
So as McDaniels is packing up his desk with a plane waiting to take him to Indiana; McDaniels gets summoned to Kraft’s office.
You can only imagine what was in that room right... dancing girls? A nice seafood platter? Briefcases full of money?
Turns out it was Bill Belichick.
McDaniels got what he wanted all along. A long term contact. Assistants don’t get that luxury. Belichick would mentor him. Pull back the curtain to see how a roster is constructed. McDaniels is the heir apparent. And just like that.. Belichick’s defense beats the Colts.
Meanwhile all hell breaks loose in the heartland.
Ex-Colts head coach Tony Dungy crushes McDaniels via twitter: “There is NO excuse big enough to justify this. It’s one thing to go back on your word to an organization. But having assistant coaches leave jobs to go with you then leave them out to dry is indefensible.”
Colts GM Chris Ballard addressing the media at what should have been an introductory press conference and wanted nothing to do with McDaniels after his decision to stay in New England: “There was no persuasion. Let me make this clear: I want, and we want as an organization a head coach that wants to be all in.”
McDaniels’ own agent, Bob LaMonte, who by the way represents Ballard, terminated McDaniels as a client. "My word is my bond," LaMonte told Sports Business Journal “Once you break that, there's nothing left."
Is it comfort that caused McDaniels to stay? Is it a bigger paycheck? Is Andrew Luck’s shoulder really getting better? Or was it finally getting a seat next to the King?
Whatever it is, McDaniels will pay a heavy price. He’ll always be known as a weasel. Not sure if that’s what makes a leader of men. And as far as being a head coach again.. would you hire him?
So what is left? "The rivalry is back on," said Ballard walking away from the podium.
The Colts and Patriots play in Foxborough this coming season. Smells like a prime time game to me.
I wonder if the Colts could use a corner like Malcom Butler? I hear he’s available.
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