McDaniels 'loves' Patriots, but wants to be a head coach again

McDaniels 'loves' Patriots, but wants to be a head coach again

FOXBORO -- It seems just about every year, Josh McDaniels is considered one of the leading candidates to land a head coachING job. But here the Patriots are, ready to start camp, and McDaniels remains where he’s been since January of 2012, as Bill Belichick’s offensive coordinator. 

It’s not as if McDaniels hasn’t had opportunities. A couple of seasons ago, he interviewed for both the San Francisco and Atlanta gigs. But this past year, the 40-year-old declined to speak with any team, despite strong interest from Miami, the New York Giants and Tennessee. At the time, McDaniels made it clear he was focused on the Pats and their upcoming playoff game against Kansas City. There’s also been the strong sense that McDaniels and his young family enjoy the area and, of course, coaching Tom Brady and coaching with Belichick.

Today, however, McDaniels made clear he’d like another shot, eventually.

“Yeah, I mean I love… this is an incredible place to work. I love being here,” he smiled. “I’m happy to do this job as much as I can, as long as they’ll have me . . . (But) I do, I want to be a head coach (again) at some point in my life. I’ve learned so much over the last so many years. Hopefully, gained a lot of wisdom, and if and when that time comes, I’d look forward to the challenge  of doing it again.”

Of course, McDaniels had that opportunity once, named the youngest head coach -- at age 33 -- in NFL history back in 2009, when the Denver Broncos tabbed him to replace legendary boss Mike Shanahan. McDaniels guided the Broncos to a 6-0 start in his first year, including an overtime win over the Patriots that was punctuated with McDaniels exuberantly pumping his fist to the crowd. Then the wheels fell off . . .  or, more accurately, disintegrated. Denver won just 5 of it’s next 22 games and McDaniels was dismissed in early December, before the 2010 season had concluded.