The NFL Network’s Albert Breer is reporting that the Patriots have indeed received permission to speak with McDaniels and will meet with him sometime this weekend. McDaniels served as offensive coordinator for the Patriots from 2006-2008. He also was the playcaller offensively in 2005 as well, after Charlie Weis left to become the head coach of Notre Dame.
As offensive coordinator, McDaniels oversaw the greatest offense the NFL has ever seen in 2007. The Patriots scored a record 589 points enroute to a perfect 16-0 regular season. In that same season, New England quarterback Tom Brady threw for a record 50 touchdown passes while deep threat Randy Moss shattered the receiving touchdown record previously held by Jerry Rice – getting to the end zone 23 times.
The following season may have been McDaniels most trying as offensive coordinator. Brady tore his ACL and MCL in the season opener just midway through the first quarter of the 2008 campaign, effectively ending his season before it even started. Matt Cassel stepped in and filled in admirably, throwing for 3,693 yards, 21 touchdowns and just 11 interceptions. While the Patriots missed the playoffs, they became just the third 11 win squad to miss out on the postseason.
McDaniels was rewarded for his superb work when he was named the new coach of the Denver Broncos for the 2009 regular season. The Broncos started out 6-0 under McDaniels, including a huge home victory over his mentor, Bill Belichick and the Patriots in week five of the 2009 regular season. Everything imploded from that point on though for McDaniels – finishing 2009 8-8 and was eventually fired the following season after the Broncos December 5 loss to Kansas City, bringing down their record to 3-9.
McDaniels spent this past season under Steve Spagnuolo’s coaching staff as offensive coordinator, overseeing the St. Louis Rams’ offense. After a 2-14 season, Spagnuolo was fired – leaving McDaniels’ status is limbo.
Should McDaniels return to New England, it would be a huge boost to the Patriots’ coaching staff. McDaniels, some would argue would be an upgrade over outgoing offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien. If McDaniels does in fact return to the Patriots it would be an important move to assure the Tom Brady-led offense remains among the top in the NFL.
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