Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien is set to become the new head coach at Penn State. So far, the reaction to his takeover hasn’t been all positive. He’ll have his hands full recruiting and creating a new face for a program that has been marred by a scandal that completely destroyed the reputation of the University.
Bill Belichick has quickly filled the hole O’Brien left in the staff. (FILE:Icon/SMI)
That deal was made official today and it looks like a the hole left at offensive coordinator has been filled in New England. It is being reported that St. Louis Rams offensive coordinator and former member of the Patriots staff, Josh McDaniels, will return to the Patriots sidelines. Leave it to Belichick to stop speculation before it completely engulfs his team.
McDaniels spent seven years here before shipping off to become the head coach of the Denver Broncos. He spent two seasons there before moving to St. Louis where he is currently the offensive coordinator.
It didn’t work out quite as well as he had probably hoped. After a 6-0 start with the Broncos, went 2-8 the rest of the way, finishing 8-8 in his first season (2009). In his second season the Broncos were 3-9, and he was fired by the team after Week 13. That was thanks to a videotaping incident where the team’s director of video operations videotaped a San Francisco 49ers’ walkthrough practice during their Week 8 game at Wembley Stadium in London, England.
In January of 2011 he was hired as an offensive coordinator for the St. Louis Rams. The team finished 2-14 and fourth in the NFC West this year.
McDaniels enjoyed a lot of success here in New England. In his first year with the team as a personnel assistant (2001), the Patriots won their first Super Bowl in Franchise history. They won it again in 2003 and 2004, with McDaniels working as a defensive coach.
In 2005 and 2006 the team made it into the post season but not to the big dance, and according to most reports, that was when McDaniels started getting more involved with the offense. He had spent 2004 as the team’s quarterbacks coach. We all know what happened in 2007, and in 2008 McDaniels helped Matt Cassel lead the team to an 11-5 record after Tom Brady was knocked out for the season. That’s not a bad way to start your NFL coaching career if you ask me.
So now the time has come and it looks like he’s reached out and grabbed his former position. Clearly the offense has changed from the Super Bowl days but I think for the better. The two tight end set the Patriots are centered around is incredibly valuable. Not to mention Wes Welker still has a few years ahead of him to continue giving other team’s defenses problems.
It’s been a while since New England has won a championship, and most fans are certainly hungry for one. McDaniels clearly works well under Belichick and I’m excited to see them join forces again. The Patriots are headed for a transition as the years start to pile up on their key veteran players. I think it’s time to start getting serious about creating new dimensions and preparing for the future, and having him back in New England is definitely a great start.