McDaniels says other opportunities 'irrelevant'

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McDaniels says other opportunities 'irrelevant'

Josh McDaniels doesn't turn 37 until April.

The Patriots offensive coordinator has crammed a lot of living into the past five years -- architect of the most explosive offense in NFL history in 2007, a successful season without the NFL's best quarterback in 2008, a 6-0 start as Broncos head coach in 2009, a peeing match with a franchise quarterback (also in 2009), a firing in 2010, a hiring...and on...and on.

Despite the way things went for McDaniels in Denver, his resume and youth will make him a head coaching candidate over the next month.

I asked McDaniels Monday morning about that reality.

"I'm thrilled to be back here and I came back here for all the right reasons," he began. "To learn and get better as a coach, to work in an organization that I really have a great deal of respect and appreciation for. I'm happy here. My family's happy here. We're excited about what's ahead of us here in the playoffs. To talk about any other opportunities at this point is, to me, irrelevant.

"I'm totally focused on this season and what this season holds," he added. "I couldn't be more excited to be here and be a New England Patriot and try to do the best job with the title that I have right now."

All that said, there's a strong likelihood McDaniels will be contacted for the head coaching jobs that are opening up. San Diego, Cleveland and Philadelphia are all franchises that could use a savvy offensive mind and a new voice.

McDaniels gave general reflections on what he's learned since being hired to coach the Broncos.

"I think that every opportunity that you have and that I've gone through since I started a long time ago in 2001 here has been a learning experience for me," he stated. "There's certainly gonna be mistakes along the way in every role that you hold and that you have an opportunity to work in.

"As long as you can get better from every mistake you make or even positive results that you get, there's always something to learn from those things to make you a better coach, a better leader, a better teacher, a better person, a better communicator, a better staff member," McDaniels added. "Hopefully, that's what I've tried to do in all my experiences including the ones I've recently had that weren't here in New England. I hope every day that I'm better than I was the day before and every year, the same thing. Going forward in any role that I have I want to be as good as I can be for that organization that I'm working here. I couldn't be more happy to be here in New England."

Curran: McDaniels staying with Pats shouldn't be a shocker

Curran: McDaniels staying with Pats shouldn't be a shocker

For weeks the speculation regarding Josh McDaniels wasn't a matter of "if" but "when."

But while national media had McDaniels signed, sealed and delivered to multiple landing spots, the proposition that he'd leave at all was never a likelihood. 

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The Rams weren't attractive to him from the outset. Jacksonville didn't excite him, either. And on Monday, he passed on the 49ers opportunity. 

The lure of a blank slate in San Fran at quarterback and GM didn't outpace the uncertainty of going cross-country to work for a seemingly dysfunctional franchise that's cycled rapidly through coaches and has an unrealistic sense that it's a long, long way removed from its glory days, the only remnant remaining from that being perhaps the logo on the helmet. 

With four kids and a job McDaniels considers one of the 10 best on coaching -- head man or no -- he will stay on as the Patriots' offensive coordinator.

"I was really impressed with (Niners owner) Jed York and (team executive) Paraag Marathe . . . and the people that came from the 49ers organization," McDaniels said on a conference call this morning. "They did a great job with their presentation. Humbled to be included in that process. At this time it's just best for my family and myself to remain here in New England and focus on this year's playoffs and finish out the year however it turns out."

The same faulty speculative reasoning that had McDaniels as good as gone from the Patriots will move on undeterred today and surmise that McDaniels is staying with the Patriots because he knows, or has been promised, that he'll receive the head coaching job when Bill Belichick steps aside. 

While the Kraft family certainly thinks highly of McDaniels and that could come to pass, anyone tapping their foot and checking their watch waiting for Belichick to step down is in for a long wait. He's showing no signs of wrapping it up and, while I haven't been told directly McDaniels isn't the automatic successor, he wouldn't be taking interviews at all if he were assured that. 

What will be interesting to see is whether interest remains high in him for other jobs or the perception that he's never going to leave means teams don't bother to ask. San Fran obviously had its heart set on McDaniels. Even though Nick Caserio passed on the chance to interview with the Niners for their open GM job, the team did talk to Louis Riddick about the spot. He and McDaniels have high regard for each other. 

Between McDaniels, Caserio and defensive coordinator Matt Patricia, the people closest to Belichick on the coaching flow chart all had chances to go somewhere else and all passed on the chance. It's another example of not why the Patriots are good but why they remain good. Stability. 
 

McDaniels: 'Best for my family and myself' to remain with Patriots

McDaniels: 'Best for my family and myself' to remain with Patriots

Josh McDaniels will be staying put in New England, he said on Monday, because that's what's best for him and his family at this point in time. 

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The Patriots offensive coordinator was a front-runner for the open head-coaching job in San Francisco but has removed his name from consideration.

"I was really impressed with [Niners owner and CEO] Jed York and [Chief Strategy Officer and EVP of Football Operations] Praag [Marathe] and [Director of Football Administration and Analytics] Brian [Hampton] and the people that came from the 49ers organization. They did a great job with their presentation. Again, humbled to be included in that process.

"At this time it's just best for my family and myself to remain here in New England and focus on this year's playoffs and finish out the year however it turns out."

Next season will be McDaniels' sixth full season back with the Patriots since returning during the playoffs of the 2011 season.

"I've always said how grateful I am to have this opportunity to work here with Mr. Kraft and his family, and coach under Bill with a lot of great guys on our staff, and to have the privilege to get to work with the players that we work with each day," McDaniels said. "It's a great opportunity. I'm very thankful to be here, and very much looking forward to this week against Pittsburgh."