Well, that was quick.
For a few days, Josh McDaniels was the lone member of the St Louis Rams coaching staff, after all of his bosses and co-workers were relieved of their duties. For the embattled offensive coordinator, that could have been a blessing or a curse. After all, any incoming head coach would want to have their choice of coordinators, and the last thing McD needed was another year of struggling with a team that was simply unprepared to play offense the way he envisioned.
Kevin Demoff, the last remaining member of the Rams’ brain trust, decided to play the nice guy, letting McDaniels know that the team would not hold him to his contract, if he wanted to look elsewhere for work.
I guess you could say he managed to land on his feet.
Pro Football Talk reports that the Patriots are expected to hire McDaniels right away, and put him to work alongside Bill O’Brien while the team prepares for its playoff run. It’s not too often you see the architect of the lowest-scoring offense in the NFL hired away and given the play-calling duties for a perennial Super Bowl contender. But that’s just a reflection of the Bizarro world that the Rams are apparently living in.
Will the move work out for the Patriots? It’s a desperation play, with O’Brien ready to accept the head coaching job at Penn State. The Pats under O’Brien have shifted to a dynamic two-TE offense, one that McDaniels admired but never replicated here. And for Belichick, this recidivism is unusual – seldom have any of the withered fruits of his coaching tree come back to the branch. He never established much of a play-calling groove here with the Rams. We’ll get to see how much of that was a reflection on the coach, or the team he was working with.
But the swiftness and sureness of the Pats move – preempting the Chiefs, Jets, or any other team about to develop an interest in McDaniels – makes one thing clear: somebody still believes in the young offensive mind. And that somebody is willing to bet a Super Bowl on it.