Pats OC McDaniels stuns Colts with abrupt U-turn
NEW England Patriots coach Josh McDaniels stunned the Indianapolis Colts on Tuesday, dramatically reversing an earlier decision to join the franchise and opting to stay in Boston.
The Colts had confirmed one of the worst-kept secrets in the National Football League earlier on Tuesday, saying that Patriots offensive coordinator McDaniels had agreed to join Indianapolis as head coach.
McDaniels, a close confidante of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and a key lieutenant of head coach Bill Belichick, was due to be formally unveiled at a press conference yesterday.
But in a shocking U-turn late on Tuesday, the Colts announced that McDaniels, 41, had changed his mind.
“After agreeing to contract terms to become the Indianapolis Colts’ new head coach, New England Patriots assistant coach Josh McDaniels this evening informed us that he would not be joining our team,” the Colts said in a statement.
“Although we are surprised and disappointed, we will resume our head coaching search immediately and find the right fit to lead our team and organization on and off the field.”
McDaniels’s departure was one of the most prominent offseason changes expected at the Patriots, who suffered an upset 33-41 defeat to the Philadelphia Eagles in Sunday’s Super Bowl.
However, ESPN reported that Patriots owner Robert Kraft had lobbied McDaniels to rethink, and ultimately persuaded him to stay with an offer of an improved contract. McDaniels has won five Super Bowls with the Patriots in two separate stints with the franchise.
It’s also not clear how the Colts will proceed from here.
By spurning Indy after it waited 22 days for the playoffs to end, McDaniels leaves the reeling franchise as the only one without a coach — in early February. New England’s defensive coordinator, Matt Patricia, left Belichick’s staff a day after the Patriots’ Super Bowl loss to become Detroit Lions coach.
Indy had interviewed several candidates for the job, including two that were hired by other teams — Matt Nagy went to Chicago and Mike Vrabel to Tennessee. Another potential candidate, Baylor coach Matt Rhule, had already announced he was returning to the college ranks before the Colts had settled on McDaniels, who at age 41 is considered one of the game’s best young minds.