Black Monday came and went as expected with a number of NFL head coaches losing their jobs, seven to be exact. With that many openings around the league, speculation immediately turned to successful coordinators as replacement candidates, including Patriots' Josh McDaniels. McDaniels prefers to keep his attention on playoff opponents instead.
McDaniels was reportedly being targeted by several of the teams looking
for a change in direction. With his previous head coaching
experience for the Denver Broncos – where he succeeded Mike Shanahan
-- McDaniels could be a good fit for a number of
clubs. But McDaniels decided to put an end to the speculation
that he'd leave New England at this time.
I'm happy here. My family is happy here. We're excited about what's
ahead of us here in the playoffs, and to talk about any other
opportunities at this point is, to me, irrelevant, because I'm totally
focused on this season and what this season holds. I couldn't be more
excited to be here and be a New England Patriot and try to do the best
job that I can with the title I have right now.
McDaniels didn't completely shut the door on taking a position
elsewhere, but by taking himself out of the equation now, his chances
of landing a job this season decline significantly each game the
Patriots advance in the postseason.
The time McDaniels spent in Denver, and subsequently with the Rams as a
coordinator, were experiences the Patriots' assistant believes make him
a stronger coach.
"I think as long as you can go through that process and try to get
better from each mistake that you make or from each positive result
that you get, there's always something to learn from those things and
try to make you a better coach, a better leader, a better teacher, a
better person, a better communicator, a better staff member," McDaniels
said. "Hopefully that's what I've tried to do with all my experiences,
including the ones that I've recently had that weren't here in New
For now, the Patriots will turn their attention toward potential
opponents, while McDaniels focuses on how to get the Patriots offense
generating touchdowns rather than field goals in the Red
Zone. New England has scored well below their league leading
34 points per game the past two weeks, a concern McDaniels said the
team is addressing.
New England will play the highest seeded AFC winner from this weekend's
game, next Sunday, January 13, 2013, at Gillette Stadium. The
Patriots have faced all three (Houston Texans, Baltimore Ravens and the
Indianapolis Colts), beating two (Houston, Indianapolis).