- McDaniels may be on the move following a disappointing 2020 season with Patriots
- Philadelphia will be seeking an offensive-mind to develop the talent of Hurts or resurrect Wentz’s career
Just as we have been accustomed to, Patriots Offensive coordinator and Bill Belichick’s right-hand man, Josh McDaniels is again being linked to a number of NFL teams with Head Coaching vacancies. This time it’s in the City of Brotherly Love, the Philadelphia Eagles who recently terminated the contract of Doug Pederson, only three years after securing Super Bowl honours with the Franchise.
But is McDaniels the right guy for Philadelphia and more importantly is he a reliable contender for the position?
Doubts surrounding McDaniels
McDaniels will head to Philadelphia to be interviewed for the head-coaching vacancy on Sunday but fans will want to see commitment from the long-time offensive guru after the drama and chaos which ensued when he agreed to sign on with the Indianapolis Colts in 2018.
McDaniels agreed to the role but subsequently withdrew from the position on the very same day and an abundance of backlash followed from former players and coaches alike.
Instead, McDaniels left the Colts stranded and returned under the wing of Bill Belichick to endure even more success in Boston. The Eagles will therefore be wary of suffering the same fate of the Colts and will want guarantees in place if he is take over the reins in Philadelphia.
A demanding Eagles fan-base will also question his ability to even bring success to this franchise after a disappointing time with the Denver Broncos more than a decade back. There’s no doubt that McDaniels will have learned from this experience and the mistakes he made at such a young age should not be held against him going forward.
What does McDaniel offer to the Eagles
McDaniels is one of the best offensive minds in the league and at only 44 years old, he will surely have a lot to offer a team who is in desperate need of a spark within their offensive scheme.
McDaniels is an elite play-caller and has learned and worked with the very best with Belichick and Tom Brady respectively.
He’s a quarterback-friendly coach and the Eagles are in need of someone who can offer guidance to a young Jalen Hurts and feed confidence into Carson Wentz after an underwhelming 2020 season. McDaniels’ first job in Philadelphia will therefore be to sort out the quarterback room, Hurts or Wentz; stick or twist? Both quarterbacks share similar traits as a mixture of mobile and pocket-passing quarterback. However, McDaniels may opt for the experience of Wentz, who he may feel confident about getting back to his MVP form of 2017.
Some may argue that McDaniels struggled with Cam Newton under centre with the Patriots this season but Cam’s performances and subsequent struggles can hardly be placed on any form of ineptitude by McDaniels. Newton has struggled with a series of injuries for a while now and looked a shadow of his former-self before eventually being replaced by Jarrett Stidham.
McDaniels is also a master in the details of the game, the ‘fundamentals’ as football experts call it. Making the right decisions, returning to basics, and creating ‘simple packages’ of complimentary football to ensure the teams success will be high on his agenda if he were to succeed in the role.
After a difficult and somewhat chaotic 2020 season for the Eagles, where players consistently appeared to not be aware or comprehend their assignments (pass-blocking for example), McDaniels will want to steady the ship and bring in a shrewd discipline before encouraging playmakers to thrive using their flair and athleticism.
Will McDaniels actually leave New England?
Rumours and talk of McDaniels exploring new pastures are often nothing more than that so I think it is more than credible to question the feasibility of him actually leaving New England.
Some will point to the fact that McDaniels has only succeeded alongside Tom Brady, arguably the most successful player to play the game. McDaniels will therefore want to prove any doubters wrong and once more achieve the starry heights of glory the New England faithful have become accustomed to over the last twenty years.
The approach McDaniels wants to take in how he proves himself to the questions being asked of him will be a deciding factor as to whether he leaves New England for good this time. Staying in New England will provide him with ample opportunity to display his offensive prowess as the franchise look for their next leading quarterback in this year’s draft. However McDaniels may want to take the ‘independent-approach’ and come out from under the shadow of his mentor Bill Belichick and cut it on his own with a new team.
The Eagles would provide him with the chance to do this. They potentially have two game-changing quarterbacks to build around and key veteran stars such as Fletcher Cox and Lane Johnson on either side of the ball. The Eagles are also in somewhat of a rebuild phase and McDaniels may just relish the challenge of creating a team that can strive for Super Bowl honours again.