Colts Next Banner: We Almost Had McDaniels

Greekca

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There is one part of this mind boggling to me. Between the Colts -- and Josh -- they really needed to prevent that press release from going out. It's ultimately the Colts primary responsibility. But if I'm Josh and thought there was any chance, I'd say, you really can't put that out there today; more to follow.
In retrospect, the press release seems like a strong arming/jumping the gun move by the Colts. Not surprising given the tweets by Irsay about the Richardson trade and Luck's injury. They can't seem to get out press releases fast enough.

Probably drafting up another participation banner as we speak.
 

jablo1312

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Never forget the Doyel was a nationally dyndicated, generalist hot taker before getting paid by the Star to come to Indianapolis, where he immediately took on the "Mr. Aw Shucks Midwestern Boy" schitck. What a loser.
 

nattysez

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Good column by Mike Freeman. As usual, he gathers info and tries to provide a relatively even-handed analysis.

This prompted a league reaction unlike few I've ever seen before. It was fast, vicious and unrelenting. The reaction was also sanctimonious and over-the-top. In other words, it was typical NFL.

"He's a weasel," one NFC assistant coach said of McDaniels.

"Such a gutless thing to do," another NFC assistant said.

"He knows he can't win without Tom Brady," an AFC front office executive said.

Hoo boy. Told you this was rough.

It went on and on and on. "He made me like [Colts owner] Jim Irsay," an NFL source said. An NFC general manager added: "It's easy to mock the Colts, but what Josh did was unprofessional. I know that's not a popular take, but it's true."

Actually, it's highly popular. McDaniels isn't just getting destroyed by NFL personnel; he's also a pariah on social media. He is seen as a coward—that was another way NFL sources described him—and the Patriots are viewed the biggest heels in league history.

***

The idea that McDaniels' career is over outside of the Patriots is far-fetched. If he keeps getting to Super Bowls, someone will take a chance on him.
 

Marciano490

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I’m down for one or two more full heel seasons. Get Brady and Bill some Nature Boy robes. Wooo!
 

Reverend

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Good column by Mike Freeman. As usual, he gathers info and tries to provide a relatively even-handed analysis.
There’s this weird underlying assumption in all these pieces that McDaniels ever wants to work somewhere else in the NFL someday.

It’s like they can’t even recognize a guy going all in on himself. He may regret it, but there is courage here too—a bit of an Elon Musk vibe.
 

InstaFace

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A skeletal Flying Elvis, demonically hounding a dead horse?

Well beyond my photoshop skills, but I'd love to see that too.
 

TheoShmeo

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Whatever this means -- Josh is the coach in waiting, he has some assurances about being at the top of the list when Bill goes, BB is leaving before 2018 (almost no chance, it seems) -- it sure is fascinating and for the first time since Sunday night, brings a football related smile.

Whether it's the FU to the Hated Colts, the sand in the panties it gives the likes of Irsay, Kravitz and Doyel, the sense of continuity and increased stability in Foxboro or, most importantly, the return of an innovative, talented and Tom Brady endorsed OC (never mind two other coaches who will likely return with him), there's a whole lot to like about this move. The "Almost Had McDaniels" Banners are a very nice cherry on the sundae.

Also, the notion that Kraft, BB and Josh spent 15 hours (seems like a massive amount of time) on this means that BB and Kraft were in a lot of discussions in the immediate aftermath of that game, and that alone strikes me as a big positive.

If Kraft is the driver behind the undo, kudos to him. I suspect in reality it's a lot more multi-dimensional than that and that the credit is more widespread.

That a few assistant coaches from other teams and their families got caught in the cross fire does suck, however, and Mr. McDaniels has a lot of apologies to make off line. A side point from the Pats perspective but still a very real part of this whole thing.
 

sodenj5

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Without Belichick and without Brady, is the NE job any better than the Colts?

McDaniels would have to fill the shoes of arguably the most successful coach and quarterback in sports history. Ownership is certainly far better in NE.

Indy has a franchise QB on paper. Whether or not he’s damaged goods, no one knows for sure yet. They have the #3 pick in the draft and he has to follow Chuck Pagano. The bar for success in Indy is so much lower.
 

BigJimEd

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Without Belichick and without Brady, is the NE job any better than the Colts?
For a random coach probably not. For McDaniels, maybe.
It comes down to his familiarity and trust in Kraft.

We also don't know the details. If Belichick told him he had one more year coaching then wanted to move to a Coughlin role. Kraft agrees. They get Caserio, who reported is tight with McDaniels, in the loop who agrees to stay. That's a good spot for McD.

That's not getting into the family side of it.
 

Papelbon's Poutine

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Without Belichick and without Brady, is the NE job any better than the Colts?

McDaniels would have to fill the shoes of arguably the most successful coach and quarterback in sports history. Ownership is certainly far better in NE.

Indy has a franchise QB on paper. Whether or not he’s damaged goods, no one knows for sure yet. They have the #3 pick in the draft and he has to follow Chuck Pagano. The bar for success in Indy is so much lower.
NE at least has a stable ownership situation. You make valid points about the team minus Brady, but at least he’s not dealing with a drug addled owner on his Twitter feed and I’m quite confident saying he has some idea on Luck’s shoulder. I don’t think this bodes all too well for that.

He’s probably only got one more shot at this. I think he would have been a better fit in Detroit than anything he’s been rumored on the last couple years. But if the reports we are hearing - that a lot had to do with uprooting his family again; that Kraft made a last minute pitch and bumped his salary; that BB was part of that - I don’t see how one can begrudge him. We all take job interviews that we end up declining and this got out because the Colts put it out there. It was just last week the reports were he was going to have another interview to discuss it. That they jumped the gun on announcing it before they had pen to paper shouldn’t reflect on him.
 

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There’s the whole maybe not having to build an entire organizational culture from the ground up thing too.

That’s related to Kraft etc., of course but more. Some people would want to start from scratch and do it their way. Others would rather take the at for a spin.

To the extent that JMcD is familiar with and favors the existing culture etc. at Gillette, then not having to reinvent the wheel—with the associated risks involved in their being more to do—might be very appealing and make it less likely to be another failed stint.

Of course, I still don’t get why he drafted Tebow.
 

lexrageorge

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Without Belichick and without Brady, is the NE job any better than the Colts?

McDaniels would have to fill the shoes of arguably the most successful coach and quarterback in sports history. Ownership is certainly far better in NE.

Indy has a franchise QB on paper. Whether or not he’s damaged goods, no one knows for sure yet. They have the #3 pick in the draft and he has to follow Chuck Pagano. The bar for success in Indy is so much lower.
These are excellent points, to which I'll add that the Colts did hire a new GM last season and seemed ready to put together a fresh start.

If McDaniels declined the Colts offer because of family concerns, or because he really liked it here (with or without the possibility of becoming the Designated Wearer of the Hoodie in a year or 2), then it's certainly a defensible decision. It's a bit tough for coaches to have to deal with interviewing and negotiating a contract with a new team, while their own team is busy prepping for the Super Bowl; not everyone is Parcells in that situation.

If he did it because of Luck's medicals, or because he the Colts may struggle on the field the next couple of seasons, that would give me pause. The Pats are not going to go to the Super Bowl every year, and Brady is eventually going to retire. He did recruit assistants, and so it's not like Isray is the only one getting the short end here. As a head coach, you cannot be afraid to take on a challenging situation that could result in failure. I don't believe this is the case, btw. Just putting it out there while we're all Gronking the football.
 

Jimbodandy

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There’s the whole maybe not having to build an entire organizational culture from the ground up thing too.

That’s related to Kraft etc., of course but more. Some people would want to start from scratch and do it their way. Others would rather take the at for a spin.

To the extent that JMcD is familiar with and favors the existing culture etc. at Gillette, then not having to reinvent the wheel—with the associated risks involved in their being more to do—might be very appealing and make it less likely to be another failed stint.

Of course, I still don’t get why he drafted Tebow.
I think that the ownership situation is huge. It's not just about working with a good boss at the top, but also the organizational structure and stability that comes with a good boss. Age and perspective probably helps McDaniels in this regard.

Regarding Tebow and other mistakes during his first try, we have seen first-hand how some guys don't handle their original gig at HC. Bill Fucking Belichick himself and Pete Carroll are good examples of guys who improved substantially from their first NFL HC job to their second. It probably takes years to really get your head around it.

Beyond the schadenfreude qualities, this decision is an endorsement of the future of this organization by McDaniels. He is all in. I'm glad to see it.
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

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If he did it because of Luck's medicals, or because he the Colts may struggle on the field the next couple of seasons, that would give me pause. The Pats are not going to go to the Super Bowl every year, and Brady is eventually going to retire. He did recruit assistants, and so it's not like Isray is the only one getting the short end here. As a head coach, you cannot be afraid to take on a challenging situation that could result in failure. I don't believe this is the case, btw. Just putting it out there while we're all Gronking the football.
If it just came out that Luck may miss the next season and/or his career is in jeapordy, that's a perfectly valid reason to get cold feet. This may be Josh's last shot at a HC gig. Does he risk blowing his career on one of the worst team in the league because the ownership jumped the gun and strongarmed him by releasing a press release? Fuck that.

He's tabbed the next HC in a much more stable organization. Both defenses are shit, but even minus Brady, the offensive line and skill position players are much deeper and more accomplished with the Pats. It sounds like he got some clarity on the future of the organization/his career, and that put him at ease to stick around. Doesn't have to be anymore complicated then that.
 

sodenj5

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That they jumped the gun on announcing it before they had pen to paper shouldn’t reflect on him.
The Colts may have jumped it, but literally every team announces their coaching hire before they actually sign their contract because backing out of an agreement is so rare. Maybe that changes now.

He certainly reserves the right to change his mind until the contract is signed, but in a sport where it seems like trust, networking and who you know matters as much as what you know, McDaniels has made himself look bad.

None of this may matter if he wants to stay in NE forever and Kraft has basically told him you’re the chosen successor or at least at the top of the list.
 

sodenj5

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If it just came out that Luck may miss the next season and/or his career is in jeapordy, that's a perfectly valid reason to get cold feet. This may be Josh's last shot at a HC gig. Does he risk blowing his career on one of the worst team in the league because the ownership jumped the gun and strongarmed him by releasing a press release? Fuck that.

He's tabbed the next HC in a much more stable organization. Both defenses are shit, but even minus Brady, the offensive line and skill position players are much deeper and more accomplished with the Pats. It sounds like he got some clarity on the future of the organization/his career, and that put him at ease to stick around. Doesn't have to be anymore complicated then that.
Do you really think the Colts tried to leverage McDaniels into accepting an offer by announcing him as their coach? Come on, man. There’s no way McDaniels didn’t say, “yes I agree to these contract terms for X dollars and Y years to be the head coach of the Colts.”

He can change his mind, but let’s not pretend that the Colts were holding a gun to his head.
 

lexrageorge

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If it just came out that Luck may miss the next season and/or his career is in jeapordy, that's a perfectly valid reason to get cold feet. This may be Josh's last shot at a HC gig. Does he risk blowing his career on one of the worst team in the league because the ownership jumped the gun and strongarmed him by releasing a press release? Fuck that.

He's tabbed the next HC in a much more stable organization. Both defenses are shit, but even minus Brady, the offensive line and skill position players are much deeper and more accomplished with the Pats. It sounds like he got some clarity on the future of the organization/his career, and that put him at ease to stick around. Doesn't have to be anymore complicated then that.
If he was deciding between two opportunities, neither of which he had accepted, I would agree with you 100%.

The issue is that McDaniels did verbally "agree to agree" to become the HC of the INDYC's. And, far more importantly, started to recruit assistants. He wasn't strong armed by any means. Granted, McD never signed a contract, and so was free to go wherever. And he doesn't really owe anyone an explanation, other than the assistants he recruited to join him in Indy.

But he basically put a big dent in his brand outside New England, no matter what we think of the Colts and Isray. Had he gone to Indy, he probably still would have had New England to fall back on if things didn't work out there. If he did it solely because of Luck's shoulder, which wasn't exactly a state secret, that's a move that doesn't exactly illustrate the type of character one necessarily wants in a head coach. I could care less about Isray; but others were impacted by the decision. Which is why I hope it was for the right reasons.

And, to address the upcoming accusation that I'm naive, I'll fully admit that far worse things happen in the NFL (and elsewhere) on a daily basis. And, it does make Bill's benching of Butler more explainable. Had the Pats won, it's less likely that McDaniels stays in an effort to get another ring in New England. Just proves that Bill is the master manipulator always one step ahead of the rest of the league in putting the best interests of the team ahead of short term gain. :p
 

Byrdbrain

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Do you really think the Colts tried to leverage McDaniels into accepting an offer by announcing him as their coach? Come on, man. There’s no way McDaniels didn’t say, “yes I agree to these contract terms for X dollars and Y years to be the head coach of the Colts.”

He can change his mind, but let’s not pretend that the Colts were holding a gun to his head.
He did agree but at the time of the announcement I'm sure the Colts were aware that he was wavering. I suspect that the announcement was meant to nudge him in the "right" direction and it may have done the opposite.
 

OnWisc

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If it just came out that Luck may miss the next season and/or his career is in jeapordy, that's a perfectly valid reason to get cold feet. This may be Josh's last shot at a HC gig. Does he risk blowing his career on one of the worst team in the league because the ownership jumped the gun and strongarmed him by releasing a press release? Fuck that.

He's tabbed the next HC in a much more stable organization. Both defenses are shit, but even minus Brady, the offensive line and skill position players are much deeper and more accomplished with the Pats. It sounds like he got some clarity on the future of the organization/his career, and that put him at ease to stick around. Doesn't have to be anymore complicated then that.
Discovering that the severity of Luck's injury in reality differed from how Colts brass portrayed it during the interview process could even be a much bigger issue than the injury itself. Accepting a job in an Irsay organization can't come without reservations, and if the Colts validated those by in any way not being 100% forthcoming about Luck, it wouldn't be surprising McDaniels pulled the ripcord.

That said, it still feels overwhelmingly like this was simply driven by Kraft getting aggressive, not because of anything the Colts did. The only thing that makes me believe there could be something else beyond that is there were rumblings that started back on Sunday, so this was not wholly an 11th hour thing.
 

Super Nomario

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I love Mike Florio; PFT.com really adds value on the legal side because of him. This is elegant:

"Put simply, McDaniels has no responsibility to the Colts because he never signed a contract. From the NFL’s perspective, no deal is done until it’s actually done. Although the Colts contend in their statement announcing the resumption of their coaching search that McDaniels “agreed to terms,” he didn’t officially agree via the execution of a binding document.

If he had signed the contract, the Colts ultimately couldn’t have forced McDaniels to work for them. But they could have prevented him from working for the Patriots or anyone else.

Based upon promises possibly made by McDaniels during the recruitment and negotiation, the Colts could be able to craft legal arguments that don’t depend on a signed, written contract. But the Colts would be foolish to raise them, since doing so would make it clear that the Colts violated league rules preventing them from hiring McDaniels while he was still finishing up his season with the Patriots.

So there’s nothing the Colts can do about this, other than to realize that they never should have announced the hiring until they had McDaniels signed, sealed, and delivered to Indianapolis."

(emphasis added).
It seems inevitable that something like this would happen at some point with the "we can't really hire you because you're still in the playoffs but we're shutting down our coaching search nudge nudge wink wink saynomore" program the NFL has in place.
 

DrewDawg

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Schefter on radio this morning says he doesn't think Judge was leave, that Caserio is a huge reason he stays, and despite some anonymous quotes, if the Patriots offense plays well next year, there will be teams that want to talk to him.
 

The Big Red Kahuna

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I am loving the indianapolis colts fan forum thread on this... 30 pages and growing every minute. So much hate.

Here's what I don't understand. I work in finance. People get job offers and accept them only to be countered back to old place ALL THE TIME. It hardly black-balls the person going forward. Like, at all. Is this just an accepted part of finance? If Josh performs, people will look past this down the road and he would have other opportunities. Look at Parcells. Burned bridges everywhere.
 

BigJimEd

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He did agree but at the time of the announcement I'm sure the Colts were aware that he was wavering. I suspect that the announcement was meant to nudge him in the "right" direction and it may have done the opposite.
How can you be sure of that when there is no evidence of it? Has this even been speculated by anyone outside this forum?
 

BigJimEd

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Yes. That's prior to the weekend. Before the Colts and McD talked again after the Superbowl. So pretty irrelevant imo.

I haven't seem anything to suggest the announcement was to try to strong arm McDaniels.
Anything is possible but there is little if any evidence of that and certainly no way any of us could be sure Of it. That to me seems to me to be projecting more of what we want to believe.
 

cshea

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On the radio this morning, Bedard made the point that there are enough Pats/Belichick guys sprinkled in front offices around the league that have worked with McDaniels that McDaniels may not have totally burned all future HC opportunities.
 

Byrdbrain

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How can you be sure of that when there is no evidence of it? Has this even been speculated by anyone outside this forum?
I'm not sure what you are referring to when you say "that" but if it is the first part I think it is quite obvious that Josh agreed to terms on the job, that has been widely reported. Other than that I'm not sure which is why I said I "suspect" that is what happened.

Edit: OK I see now it was the wavering part, that was also widely reported by PFT among others, how could they not have known or at least suspected?
 

dcdrew10

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How long will it take to get Patriots shirts that looks like the nWo logo but say nWe ?

I can't imagine that McDaniels didn't back out without some sort of guarantee from Kraft and BB. It's ballsy non the less, he could really have screwed himself. Though how many people outside of NY/NJ really hold a grudge against BB for walking away from the HC of NYJ?
 

loshjott

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Without Belichick and without Brady, is the NE job any better than the Colts?

McDaniels would have to fill the shoes of arguably the most successful coach and quarterback in sports history. Ownership is certainly far better in NE.

Indy has a franchise QB on paper. Whether or not he’s damaged goods, no one knows for sure yet. They have the #3 pick in the draft and he has to follow Chuck Pagano. The bar for success in Indy is so much lower.
In a bad case (not worst case) scenario, McDaniels' career could go this way:

OC for next 1-2 yrs
Named HC of the NEP in 2019 or 2020.
Fails miserably in the post-Brady and BB era - Kraft wouldn't can him for at least 3 yrs, however.
In 2024 McDaniels is seen as damaged goods but still a bright offensive mind.
He's a rich man by then and can afford to take a year off.
By 2025 this current contretemps will have faded and most NFL teams or major college programs would hire him as OC.
Resume career as successful coordinator a la Wade Phillips, Norv Turner, etc.
 

InstaFace

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Here's what I don't understand. I work in finance. People get job offers and accept them only to be countered back to old place ALL THE TIME. It hardly black-balls the person going forward. Like, at all. Is this just an accepted part of finance? If Josh performs, people will look past this down the road and he would have other opportunities. Look at Parcells. Burned bridges everywhere.
Same in consulting. Same in tech. Same in any well-compensated profession, I would hazard to guess.

What we're hearing is sour grapes, the middle school mean-girls-club atmosphere of the NFL. Just like what Freeman said in his article.
 

drleather2001

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NFL has a short memory. If whoever goes into Indy revives the franchise, then people forget about this whole episode. If whoever goes into Indy has a hard time of it, either because Luck is an albatross or Irsay makes it impossible to operate, or for whatever reason, McDaniels looks wise and people forget about this whole episode.

My guess is that McDaniels saw the latter as the far more likely scenario, had he taken the job. It's unfortunate (for him) that he appears to have gone back on his word, but throwing good money after bad and following through would have ultimately left him in a worse position; a two-time failed HC. So he stayed when New England made a good faith effort to keep him.

I think it's really that simple.