Though McDaniels and the Colts had agreed to hire him as the new head coach following the firing of Chuck Pagano, McDaniels wound up backing out of the deal before it became official.
McDaniels recently opened up about the situation, saying it was never his intention to leave the Colts hanging despite the agreement.
“I never intended to do that to anybody,” McDaniels said via Vic Tafur of The Athletic. “I have a tremendous amount of respect for (general manager) Chris Ballard, (Colts owner) Mr. (Jim) Irsay and their whole organization. They were great. I think they ended up with the person they should have ended with (Frank Reich) and I ended up where I was supposed to be.”
McDaniels admitted that the choice wasn’t right for him and that it took him too long to realize that. But it doesn’t change the fact that he left the Colts at the altar after giving them his word.
“There are a lot of things that go into these opportunities and chances to advance,” McDaniels said. “At the end of the day, the best thing for me at that time was to stay. And it took me a little longer than I wish that it had to realize that, but once I realized that that was the right decision, I felt like I had to do that even though it was going to be unpopular.”
The Colts wound up hiring Frank Reich to be their head coach. It’s a move that has been lauded by most as a much better fit both schematically and culture-wise.
Reich seemingly handled the Andrew Luck situation better than most would. His decision to bring in Philip Rivers proved to be valuable. However, his pounding-of-the-table for Carson Wentz will go down as a massive red flag on his profile.
The Colts are better off without McDaniels, and he is probably better off without the Colts.
Now, Indy will get their chance at payback when the Colts visit the Raiders during the 2022 regular season.