NFL News from 02/06 to 02/07/2018
Colts hire Josh McDaniels to be their Head Coach, before he backs out last minute to stay in New England (per ESPN’s Adam Schefter)
In one of the most bizarre coaching situations we have seen this millenium, Patriots Offensive Coordinator Josh McDaniels, almost assured to become the next Head Coach of the Indianapolis Colts, backed out of his arrangement and decided to stay in New England. In his press conference this morning, Colts GM Chris Ballard made it seem as if this decision came out of nowhere, and he never got the sense that McDaniels was getting cold feet. The Colts will now have to start essentially at square one, and will be requesting interviews with Eagles OC Frank Reich (fresh off an incredible Super Bowl gameplan) and Saints Assistant HC Dan Campbell to begin.
This decision puts Indianapolis in a tough position, but if they play their cards right, they could potentially even end up with a better candidate than they ever assumed McDaniels would be. As for McDaniels, this decision could have to do with the health of Andrew Luck, but it is more likely Patriots owner Bob Kraft sweetened his deal and essentially “pinky-promised” him the Head Coaching position in New England when current Head Coach Bill Belichick ultimately decides to hang it up (which could be as soon as the end of next season).
If McDaniels truly had second thoughts about the roster he would be inheriting in Indianapolis, he had more than enough time – three weeks to be exact – to announce his decision to stay in New England. This last second flaking that McDaniels pulled will make it really hard for him to land a Head Coaching position somewhere other than New England. It was also reported Tuesday afternoon that McDaniels’ agent Bob LaMonte, who also represents Colts GM Chris Ballard, is terminating his partnership with McDaniels.
Colts hire Matt Eberflus to be their Defensive Coordinator (per ESPN)
A Cowboys Linebackers Coach since 2011, Matt Eberflus is considered a coach on the rise. He is expected to run a 4-3 defense in Indianapolis as a disciple of Rod Marinelli. Eberflus signed on to be a part of Josh McDaniels’ staff, along with two other assistants. They are all being retained and the Colts will honor the contracts they signed before McDaniels’ unexpected cop-out. It’ll be interesting to see what offensive mind Eberflus will be paired with, but there’s a lot of work to be done on both sides of the ball in Indianapolis.
Lions hire Paul Pasqualoni to be their Defensive Coordinator (per Detroit News)
Paul Pasqualoni will enter Detroit with 46 years of coaching experience. He spent most of his career as the Head Coach at Syracuse, where he hired Matt Patricia as an assistant in 2001 before Patricia’s time with the Patriots. The new Detroit Lions Head Coach Matt Patricia will be the one calling plays on defense, and it seems the veteran presence that he trusts was the person given the title of Defensive Coordinator. His most recent coaching experience was at Boston College where he coached Defensive Line last season, and his last NFL experience was with the Houston Texans in 2015 where he also coached Defensive Line.
Lions will retain last year’s Offensive Coordinator Jim Bob Cooter (per MMQB’s Albert Breer)
Although Matt Patricia didn’t specify whether he would still be coordinating, this move makes a lot of sense. Jim Bob Cooter completely turned the Lions offense around when he was promoted midseason to Offensive Coordinator in 2015, and he has done excellent work with Matt Stafford. Detroit needs to try to find a run game this offseason to try to take some of the pressure off Stafford’s shoulders.