Although a report emerged on Sunday indicating the Colts were moving forward with Josh McDaniels as their head coach, the Titans’ firing muddied those plans. But it looks like that will be a momentary blip.
McDaniels is expected to choose the Colts and become their head coach, Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero of NFL.com report (Twitter link). This will come after the Titans — and former McDaniels Patriots colleague Jon Robinson — were expressing interest.
No offer has been made, Stephen Holder of the Indianapolis Star notes (on Twitter), but he adds the Colts don’t appear to be nervous about the Titans’ late entrance into this race. The Colts cannot formally offer McDaniels this job until the Patriots’ season concludes.
However, the Colts and McDaniels have been connected to going forward together since late last week when he and Texans first-year DC Mike Vrabel became the finalists for this position. McDaniels has 10 years of OC experience (nine with the Patriots and one with the Rams) and was the Broncos’ head coach for most of the 2009-10 seasons. Although that partnership did not work out, McDaniels has continued to churn out top-tier offenses in New England.
While the 41-year-old OC has enjoyed the benefit of having one of the greatest quarterbacks off all time around which to center his offense, Tom Brady has also done his best work under McDaniels. Prior to McDaniels taking over as Patriots OC in 2006, Brady had one 4,000-yard passing season and had never thrown more than 28 TD passes in a campaign. While Brady thrived under Bill O’Brien while McDaniels was in Denver and St. Louis, he’s maintained top-level play at an age when most quarterbacks have retired slowed down.
McDaniels interviewed with the Colts, Bears and Giants — and as of Monday morning was still in contention for the Giants’ job. But Chicago went with former Chiefs OC Matt Nagy, and the Giants are expected to offer their HC job to Pat Shurmur. The Titans entered the race late but were not believed to be a serious Colts threat. Chris Ballard and his likely HC hire share an agent in Bob LaMonte, and have a “strong relationship” — per Rapoport (on Twitter).
McDaniels will be the person tasked with restoring Andrew Luck as one of the NFL’s premier quarterbacks.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.