Can Josh McDaniels be a successful head coach? LeGarrette Blount weighs in

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Darren Hartwell
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Would McDaniels fit in Philly? Ex-Patriot shares thoughtful take originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Josh McDaniels has a strong track record as an NFL offensive coordinator. As a head coach? Not so much.

The New England Patriots offensive coordinator went 11-17 as coach of the Denver Broncos in 2009 and 2010, was fired midway through his second season and hasn't returned to the head coach ranks since. McDaniels reportedly is a finalist for the Eagles' head coach job, though -- so can he find redemption in Philadelphia?

LeGarrette Blount, who spent four seasons with McDaniels in New England before joining the Eagles in 2017, is a good person to ask.

Patriots Talk Podcast: McDaniels’ Quandary: Is he better off in Philly or sticking with Patriots? | Listen & Subscribe | Watch on YouTube

"I loved playing for Josh," Blount said Wednesday on 94WIP in Philadelphia when asked about McDaniels' head coach candidacy, via WEEI.com. "Josh is an amazing offensive coordinator and game-planner on the offensive side. I've never been up under him as a head coach, but I know that he has been a head coach before and he obviously has some leadership skills and a lot of experience in the game."

But can McDaniels succeed where other former Patriots assistants (Matt Patricia and Bill O'Brien, to name two) have failed? Blount has unique perspective on that front as well, having played for Patricia's Detroit Lions in 2018.

"I think the question is the approach," Blount said. "You get a lot of guys that come from New England that try to bring the New England way to a different team, and you don't have those same type of players. Bill [Belichick] knows how to go get players that will fit into that and mold into that. I think sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.

"I don't know how Josh would approach a head coaching situation, whether he'd want to bring that or whether he'd put his own spin on it like [Brian] Flores with Miami. You never know what the idea is, and what they are going to bring."

That's a thoughtful take from Blount, who watched Patricia try to establish a facsimile of the "Patriot Way" in Detroit with disastrous results. If McDaniels tries to do the same in Philly, that may not go over well -- especially with noted Patriot Way hater Lane Johnson on the roster.

Eagles running backs coach Duce Staley reportedly is McDaniels' top competition for the job, so if owner Jeffrey Lurie and general manager Howie Roseman don't want a significant culture change, Staley might be the best fit. If McDaniels wins out, though, he'll have to think carefully about what tone he sets in Philly.