Will Josh McDaniels pursue Jags HC job? Here are the factors at play originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
The Josh McDaniels rumor mill has started up early this year.
That's because there's an enticing opening in Jacksonville, where the Jaguars fired head coach Urban Meyer after a disastrous 13-game tenure. The Jaguars boast a talented young quarterback in Trevor Lawrence, and the opportunity to coach the No. 1 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft definitely may appeal to McDaniels.
Would McDaniels leave his current post, though? The 45-year-old has had considerable success working with rookie quarterback Mac Jones as the Patriots' offensive coordinator, guiding New England to a 9-4 record entering Week 15.
Patriots Insiders Tom E. Curran and Phil Perry joined ex-Patriots quarterback Matt Cassel on a new episode of the Patriots Talk podcast to discuss the factors McDaniels might be considering. Among them: Is there a realistic possibility he succeeds Bill Belichick as New England's head coach in the near future?
"As far as I know, Bill has given no timeline for stepping aside," Curran said. "What he's fashioned this year rules out the notion that he is losing his fastball. If there's no end in sight and no succession plan hatched, if you're Josh McDaniels, you have to look at your situation going forward."
Curran then made an interesting analogy, comparing McDaniels' situation to what Belichick faced as the New York Jets' defensive coordinator under Bill Parcells before Belichick left for New England in 2000.
"This to me, for Josh, mirrors in so many ways in the late 90s what Bill Belichick was seeing with Bill Parcells. (Belichick) wanted a second chance, he understood he was being paid more than anybody else -- like McDaniels is now as a coordinator -- but he had to try to figure out, 'When is Bill going to leave, and if he does leave, do I want him over my shoulder?'"
McDaniels has been in this situation before, though, most notably spurning the Indianapolis Colts in February 2018 after accepting their head coach job. Curran wondered if McDaniels' deep roots in New England and previous history may influence his decision, as well.
"He has high school-aged kids now," Curran said. "I believe it's four children he has, one of whom is a football player locally heading towards college age. So, all of those things are considerations, too. So, your family situation enters into it.
"He's stood on the diving board a lot. At some point, when somebody bounces up and down on the diving board as long as they do and saying, 'I'm about to jump!' If you don't jump, people start walking away. 'No cannonball from you? OK, we'll move on to the next guy who's going to jump.'"
"Even in those interviews he had -- he was a little ambivalent with Philadelphia, I think. Nick Sirianni got that job. Josh has in the past too removed himself from consideration late in the period. The Packers, same thing with Matt LaFleur -- he removes himself I think in some regards to say, 'If I don't get it, I don't want to seem like I wanted it.'"
But is McDaniels finally ready to take the plunge this year? Perry believes now is the time to strike for McDaniels, while Cassel thinks he'd face an uphill climb in Jacksonville. Check out their full discussion on the Patriots Talk Podcast, or watch on YouTube below.