In the nanoseconds after Jeff Fisher’s deserved dismissal as head coach of the Los Angeles Rams, rumors started to circulate about potential successors. The Jim Harbaugh one was particularly hilarious, but at least it’s not distressing.
Current Patriots assistant Josh McDaniels? Now that’s one that will bring grief.
Here’s the logic from your local NFL beat writer: Well, he’s helped create a scoring machine in New England. He did coach the Denver Broncos. He’s only 40, so he must be an innovator. And he’s learned the game under the great Bill Belichick.
Oh, Belichick is excellent at what he does … but creating great future NFL coaches is not one of them. Since everything that builds up McDaniels’ resume stems from working with the great Bill Belichick, we can reach a conclusion that hiring him would be a disastrous move by the Rams.
How do we know?
Let’s take it apart brick by brick. First of all, the Patriots aren’t necessarily a great offense because of McDaniels. They have this guy playing quarterback that you might have heard of.
Yes, McDaniels did manage to open with a six-game winning streak in his first year with Denver. Then he followed that by losing the last four games of the season to miss the playoffs. Afterward, he convinced the Broncos to invest the 25th overall pick of 2010 on Tim Tebow. McDaniels was later fired when the Broncos started 2010 with a 3-9 record.
That was about six years ago. In the meantime, he also served as the Rams offensive coordinator. You don’t think they had their fill of him when he was with the franchise the first time?
Finally comes the alleged Belichick coaching lineage. You’ve learned under the master, right?
Wrong, at least at the NFL level. Nobody is going to question the accomplishments of former Belichick assistant Nick Saban at the college level. But six Belichick assistants have gotten at least one opportunity to lead an NFL team. Of that, only three managed to reach the NFL playoffs and two managed to win a playoff game — Eric Mangini and Bill O’Brien.
O’Brien is the only former Belichick assistant working as a head coach in the NFL. He’s currently trying to figure out how to win games with Brock Osweiler under center in Houston.
Other super geniuses from the tutelage of Belichick include Jim Schwartz, Al Groh and Romeo Crennel. As for college, Kirk Ferentz is well-respected in Iowa, but Charlie Weis reduced Notre Dame to rubble.
Which brings us back to McDaniels, who supposedly has the tool set to turn Jared Goff into Tom Brady.
Patriots assistant coaches are the cockroaches of professional football. The hype that surrounds them — this aura in a hoodie syndrome — convinces beat writers to argue on their behalf. Make your team like the Patriots. Hire a Patriots assistant.
It’s the same argument that Madison Avenue made when it claimed wearing Uggz boots will land you in bed with Gisele Bundchen lookalikes. It’s fool’s gold. You have to pass on it.