Is Josh McDaniels the Detroit Lions next head coach?
Out of playoff contention and with the future for Jim Caldwell unclear, is Patriots’ offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels destined to become the Detroit Lions’ next head coach?
After the Detroit Lions lost to the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday, and their playoff hopes were crushed, social media was flooded with messages wanting the Motor City to oust head coach Jim Caldwell. That’s despite the fact the Lions still have an opportunity to post a winning record, which would be for the third time during Caldwell’s four-year tenure in Detroit.
But there is a growing sense Caldwell could be on his way out, as his mysterious extension from the offseason ended up being a glorified one-year deal with the option to buy years more later. Certainly nothing that would hinder the Lions from pulling the trigger and firing Caldwell at seasons’ end.
Throw in the fact that Detroit has once again failed to provide quarterback Matthew Stafford, now the highest paid player in NFL history, with a proper support system. Sure, the Lions have some solid pieces. But the fact running the football has all but been abandoned during Caldwell’s stint as head coach, and that Stafford has been sacked a whopping 45 times so far this season only reinforces the thought that the Lions are wasting the quarterback’s prime years.
But under Caldwell, the Lions have also went to the playoffs twice. And they’ve seen a run of success that Detroit hasn’t experienced in quite a while.
Unfortunately, it appears the Caldwell’s inability to win in the postseason could be his undoing. And the path for his replacement may have started nearly two years ago. Back in January of 2016, the Lions hired Bob Quinn as their general manager. Prior to coming to Detroit, Quinn spent 15 years with the New England Patriots.
It just so happens that one of the hottest potential candidates for upcoming NFL head coaching vacancies is expected to be Patriots’ longtime offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. If Quinn wanted to bring in his own head coach, it only makes sense that McDaniels would be his first choice.
The 41-year old McDaniels is a five-time Super Bowl champion as a member of the Patriots’ staff under legendary head coach Bill Belichick. He started in New England back in 2001 as a personal assistant beside Quinn, who had joined the Pats the year before in the same position.
McDaniel went on to become one of the youngest head coaches in NFL history (32 years, 8 months), leading the Denver Broncos for two seasons, from 2009-2010. The Broncos went 11-17 during his time in Denver. McDaniels is most famous for trading up in the 2010 NFL Draft to selected Florida quarterback Tim Tebow in the first round, 25th overall.
The young coach was fired near the end of his second season in Denver, and was hired to the St. Louis Rams’ coaching staff the following year. McDaniel rejoined New England in 2012 as their offensive coordinator and quarterback coach. And he has been there ever since.
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Having coached under Belichick for several seasons, and with the experience gathered from his first head coaching gig in the NFL, Josh McDaniels appears ready once again to test the waters and possibly take the helm another team.
If so, Bob Quinn’s presence in the Detroit Lions’ front office, as well as a quarterback like Matthew Stafford under center, would surely be attractive qualities for McDaniels. As for Detroit, who better to mentor Stafford than the man who whispers in Tom Brady’s ear.