Josh McDaniels had his second interview with the Colts on Friday, and it apparently went well. Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports (Twitter link) that, shortly after the conclusion of Super Bowl LII, Indianapolis will hire McDaniels as its next head coach.
Of course, this hardly qualifies as breaking news. We have known for some time now that McDaniels would be heading to the Colts once New England’s season is over, and the Friday interview was largely just an opportunity for him to sit down with Indianapolis GM Chris Ballard and owner Jim Irsay to make plans for the offseason. As Chris Mortensen of ESPN.com tweets, Irsay was not present for the first interview, so the second summit was needed to get the owner’s official stamp of approval.
McDaniels will now turn his attention towards bringing yet another Super Bowl to New England before he departs. The Patriots, meanwhile, will need to replace not only McDaniels, but DC Matt Patricia as well. Plus, as Schefter points out, Pats special teams coordinator Joe Judge is on an expiring contract, and Ben Volin of the Boston Globe hears that Judge may well join Patricia in Detroit (Twitter link).
Volin writes in a full-length piece that Patriots LB coach Brian Flores — who got some head coaching interest this year — seems like the obvious candidate to replace Patricia as New England’s DC. The real question, then, is who (if anyone) will replace McDaniels.
As Volin notes, head coach Bill Belichick has not had to fill either top coordinator position since 2012, but his history suggests that if he does name a new offensive coordinator, he will promote from within. Indeed, all of Belichick’s coordinators during his 18-year tenure in New England either worked with him at a previous stop or worked their way up inside the Pats’ organization.
During a portion of Belichick’s reign, the team has not even had an official offensive coordinator. McDaniels ran the offense as a quarterbacks coach in 2005, and current Texans head coach Bill O’Brien called plays for the offense during the 2008-09 seasons but did not hold the OC title.
Nonetheless, someone will need to run the offense, regardless of title, and Volin says the only two realistic choices on-staff are assistant quarterbacks coach Jerry Schuplinski and receivers coach Chad O’Shea. Of the two, Volin sees O’Shea as the more likely target, as he has experience in all facets of the game and currently serves as the team’s red zone offense coordinator.
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