Patiots OC Josh McDaniels talks Colts job diss; confidence in Mac Jones

New England Patriots (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
New England Patriots (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels had his bags packed, his coaching staff set and was all but getting his playbook set as new coach of the Indianapolis Colts before a last-minute change of heart sent him back in the welcoming arms of Robert Kraft and Bill Belichick.

As head coaches don’t often get second chances in the NFL, this move by McDaniels back in 2017 was thought to have ruined his chances of future head coaching jobs in the NFL other than the successor of Belichick with the Patriots.  That is or was the speculated motivation behind the move.

Fast forward to 2021, McDaniels and the Patriots are preparing to take on the Colts, who got over the change of heart by hiring Frank Reich as their coach.  While the team is in good place, Indy fans may not forget how McDaniels dissed their team.  Well, neither has the media.

New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels doesn’t regret 2017 decision

Asked about his infamous decision back in 2017, McDaniels chalked it up to a learning experience.

"“I think every year I have tried to learn and grow as a coach and as a person. You make decisions in life and in your career that you feel like are the best decisions for you and your familiar, which is certainly what happened then,” McDaniels said, as transcribed by WEEI. “You move forward and you do everything you can within your power to make those decisions the right ones. That’s what I’ve tried to do every day. I certainly have no regrets about what has transpired since then.”"

McDaniels has moved forward and has positioned himself as a favorite to land a head coaching job after how he has prepared and put rookie Mac Jones in position to lead the offense.  While the Colts organization has moved on, don’t think stumping the Patriots Saturday night won’t feel sweet, just as sweet as it would be for McDaniels to score a victory with a creative offensive game plan.

Patriots notebook: Mac Jones will be ready to throw

Speaking of that rookie quarterback and offensive game plans, Josh McDaniels was asked about Mac Jones throwing the ball just three times in the team’s 14-10 win over the Buffalo Bills.

With weather obviously being a factor, the New England Patriots offensive coordinator explained it wasn’t due to a lack of trust in Jones to throw the ball in the heavy winds of Western New York, it was just team going with what worked, which was the running game.

"“Could we have thrown it 15 times?  Yeah, probably.  Would it have incurred some risk?  Most definitely, depending on the way you were going.  And the wind the other night was not one direction only.  It wasn’t like it was going like this, and that was it.  There was some cross-wind, and there was some this way,” McDaniels explained Monday, via Patriots Wire.  “It was mostly going towards the tunnel end, but there was definitely a switching of the wind there, too.  I have a lot of confidence in him.  I watched every throw he made in pregame.  I watched every throw in warmups.  I was aware of how his ball was traveling, as well as Buffalo’s.”"

As it turned out, the Patriots didn’t need Jones to throw the ball.  A couple third-down conversions would’ve been nice, but in all, the ground attack put the team in control early and late in that game.

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In all, it wasn’t a lack of confidence in Mac Jones, didn’t even have anything to do with his arm strength.  It was more a matter of the rookie quarterback continuing to do what McDaniels and the team asks him to do.  On Saturday night in Indy, where weather obviously won’t be a factor, he may be asked to throw the ball 50 times.  With the unpredictability of the Patriots’ offensive game plans, that wouldn’t be surprising at all.