Huge day for the Indianapolis Colts. The team’s official twitter account tweeted yesterday: ‘We are excited to welcome Josh McDaniels, who has agreed to terms as our new head coach! Press conference scheduled for Wednesday.’
Finally. The long wait is over. They have their man and they’ve already started filling out the staff with three assistants. And while it would always feel better to be getting an offensive coordinator from the winning Super Bowl team, it’s not bad at all to be getting an offensive coordinator who’s won a fistful of rings and has already had a stint as a head coach. All in all, a huge win for the Colts to combine Tom Brady’s offensive coordinator slash confidante, with Andrew Lu-
EHHH, that’s not happening at all.
Because word broke last night that Josh McDaniels wouldn’t be the next head coach of the Indianapolis Colts, instead, he’ll just stay as the offensive coordinator of the New England Patriots. UH-OH!
In fact, if you’re the Colts, that UH-OH has just been on loop all night. According to Tom Curran, McDaniels had 15 hours of meetings with Bill Belichick, Robert Kraft and Jonathan Kraft over the last two days and decided to pull the ripcord. How very Belichick of him.
That’s a serious full-court press from the Pats organization, but also tells me that McDaniels already had doubts about going before those meetings started. Clearly, he felt he had a better gig than the one he just accepted. Clearly, he felt the offensive coordinator’s gig for the Patriots was a better gig than being the head coach of that Indianapolis Colts. How’ that grab ya, Colts GM, Chris Ballard. You know Colts owner Jim Irsay saw that and thought, dammnit. The Pats got over on us. Again!! Time to let the monster get out its cage to feed.” Don’t do it, Jimbo. It’s just not worth it.
Such a bad look, and bad loss for the Colts. But a huge win for the Pats. That means you’ve got to take down the old tweet and the presser to introduce McDaniels has been replaced by one to explain why you’re not introducing McDaniels. What are you doing announcing a head coach before you have a cast-iron deal with that head coach? One of the worst looks ever. I’m not saying McDaniels looks good here. He doesn’t. But you better know you have the guy, before you announce the guy. And the Colts didn’t.
As for why this is such a good win for the Pats. It’s pretty obvious. Who the hell were they going to bring in to coach Tom Brady? Who the hell was Brady, at 41, and the best ever, going to listen to at this stage of his career. Certainly no one from the outside, and they obviously didn’t have anyone who could do it on the inside, or they would have gone as hard as they did to get McDaniels to stay. If they had that guy, they would have let McDaniels walk, the way they did Matt Patricia. The way they do every single player Belichick has ever coached not named Brady.
And it’s a win, because while Belichick is the goat, even he couldn’t expect to just reload after losing both his coordinators. Of course that would have hurt Belichick. And he knew it. Or he wouldn’t have worked so hard in the 12th hour to convince McDaniels to stay.
But this is one of those rare scenarios where absolutely nobody involved looks good. The Colts look bad because they announced a head coach before he was their head coach. McDaniels looks like he flaked at the last minute and people around the league may question whether they can trust his word going forward. Then again, if he’s eventually taking over for Belichick, he doesn’t really need other teams to trust him right now. And the Patriots, the model of consistency for so long and the envy of every other organization in the league, continue to look more and more dysfunctional.
Oh, and then there’s this tweet from Adam Schefter: Text from one league source: “That’s Kraft putting it to the Colts again. He will forever try and (expletive) that place ever since deflate gate.”
If some of this is about all of that, then HELL FREAKING YES. Where do I sign up? I am totally here for revenge contracts with your coaching staff to screw another team. That is fantastic. And I really hope it is the case.
Maybe McDaniels backing out is about that. Or maybe it’s connected to the report that there are questions about Andrew Luck’s health. Or the fact that McDaniels is now the likely successor to Belichick, although reportedly nothing is in writing. Or maybe it’s about the fact that he just didn’t like what the Colts were selling.
What it all adds up to is the fact that if you’re the Colts, a guy just said he’d rather be an assistant somewhere else than the head coach in Indianapolis. And that hurts. That really, really hurts. The Colts have said they’ll honor the deals they have with the three guys who would’ve been McDaniels assistants, which is classy. But also kind of weird because the new coach is going to have to take on three guys he didn’t hire. And the Colts who had 12 losses last season just took their biggest loss in a long time.