For years, the Falcons have had defensive-minded coaches in Mike Smith and Dan Quinn, who were both previously defensive coordinators before being hired by Atlanta. With the current head coach position vacant, most fans are screaming for an offensive-focused coach. Josh McDaniels (the current OC for the Patriots) is touted as one of the best offensive minds in the NFL.
Should the Falcons hire Josh McDaniels as head coach?
McDaniels is the highest-paid coordinator in the NFL and has six Super Bowl rings to show for it. One of which was against Atlanta just a few years ago. If you can’t beat them…pay them to work for you… or something like that. These accomplishments alone show his value as a part of a coaching staff. McDaniels has coached under two of the greatest names in football coaching history: Bill Belichick and Nick Saban. Atlanta, seemingly, could use this kind of genius, in addition to the already skilled offense, to make another Super Bowl run. Before I get into all that, let’s take a look at McDaniels’ career.
McDaniels got his coaching start as a Senior Graduate Assistant for Michigan State in 1999. It was here that he coached under Nick Saban. However, McDaniels was relatively unremarkable as a coaching staff member and went on to pursue another career.
Fast-forward to 2001, McDaniels joins the Patriots as a personnel assistant. He worked his way up to a defensive coaching assistant, and in 2004, he was promoted to QBs coach. While serving as a QBs coach, he became the offensive play-caller in the absence of Charlie Weiss and was eventually named the permanent OC the next season (2006). The 2007 Patriots, under McDaniels offensive command, set NFL records for scoring 75 TDs in a season (67 on offense).
In 2009, McDaniels signed a four-year contract as the Broncos head coach. This contract would ultimately be terminated after two seasons filled with controversy and losses. During his first year, McDaniels went 8-8 and was involved in a trade controversy with the Patriots. Following this, distrust in McDaniels lingered along with unresolved issues. He also took a lot of grief for benching a Pro Bowl receiver during a playoff game. The following season, the Broncos and McDaniels were fined for illegally recording another team’s practice. After an investigation, McDaniels was deemed to not know of the illegal recording. However, he was then fired for not reporting the situation immediately. His record that year was 3-9.
In 2011, Steve Spagnuolo hired McDaniels as OC of the St. Louis Rams. After firing Spagnuolo at the end of the season, St. Louis released McDaniels from contractual obligations.
The Patriots then re-hired McDaniels during the playoffs of the 2011 season as an offensive assistant. He immediately regained his OC title the next season. Two years later, the Patriots won another Super Bowl despite involvement in a football deflating scandal. I block the 2016 Super Bowl from my memory, so let’s skip to 2018. Indianapolis named McDaniels as their head coach; however, the next day he decided to stay with the Patriots.
Josh McDaniels seems to only be productive in New England. I also would be leery of hiring someone with a head coaching record of 11-17 (.393). Lastly, I could not fully trust a head coach with a history of team controversy and cheating scandals. Arthur Blank, if you are reading this, I’d pass on McDaniels.
Photo: Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire