The Dynasty Continues
The Indianapolis Colts already had the press conference scheduled to announce their new coaching hire, Josh McDaniels. Tuesday evening the Colts were blindsided with news that McDaniels would not be accepting the head coaching job and would be returning to the New England Patriots as the offensive coordinator. The news subsequently “broke” the internet. With the agreement already in place for McDaniels to take over as head coach, the decision was a complete shock to the sports world. My first thought was “This is so Belichick like”, the situation seems oddly familiar to the 1999 debacle between Belichick and the New York Jets (Belichick quit as head coach one day into is tenure).
McDaniels was lured back to the New England Patriots by team owner Robert Kraft. McDaniels also had a desire to keep his family in New England rather than move them to Indianapolis. Another issue stated was the clarity of Indianapolis quarterback Andrew Luck’s health (Luck is still recovering from multiple shoulder surgeries). These circumstances all played a role in McDaniels’ decision. Reports have surfaced that Kraft had been in contact with McDaniels, talking to him about remaining in New England. Kraft’s desire to keep McDaniels away from Indianapolis seem to be a direct result of Kraft’s feelings towards the Colts organization. A fellow NFL executive stated “He (Robert Kraft) will forever try and (explicit) that place, ever since deflate gate”. With this quote we can see the issues with McDaniels going to Indianapolis spread beyond just football. Kraft was out for revenge. Keeping McDaniels out of Indianapolis was his form of payback for the drama the Colts created after the AFC Championship in 2015 (The Colts organization reported the use of deflated footballs by the New England Patriots, resulting in the suspension of Tom Brady). A gutsy move by Kraft, resulting in a chaotic situation in Indianapolis.
With McDaniels returning to New England we can begin to suspect that Kraft has future plans for McDaniels. With talks of Bill Belichick’s retirement swirling throughout the media it is likely that Kraft sees McDaniels as the heir to the Patriots’ throne. Knowing McDaniels relationship with quarterback Tom Brady, McDaniels will continue to command the offense in hopes of someday taking over as head coach for the aging Belichick.