New England Patriots: Is Josh McDaniels Overrated?

By Will Gellman
Josh McDaniels
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

For years now, the New England Patriots have been one of the most prolific offenses in the NFL. The main reason for this has, of course, been the sensational play of quarterback Tom Brady. Even so, the offense has arguably been at its best in the last six years.

Many assume that the reason for this offensive surge was the installment of Josh McDaniels as the offensive coordinator in 2006. Many of them take their high praise for McDaniels a step further, believing that he is the man that should and will succeed Bill Belichick as the head coach of the Patriots. With all of that said, is he really as good as everyone thinks?

I don’t think that he is. In my estimation, the reason why the offense is as good now as ever, is because Brady’s better now compared to when McDaniels first became the OC.

Also, the team has had better offensive weapons in the past six years than at any point in Brady’s career. This was especially true in the 2007 season when the team started 18-0. That year, the Patriots had the likes of Randy Moss, Wes Welker, Jabar Gaffney and Donte’ Stallworth as receivers. No matter who would have called the plays that year, the Patriots would have put up a ridiculous amount of points.

Another reason why McDaniels is overrated is because of some of the personnel decisions he has made. These decisions include trading a first-round pick away to acquire Alphonso Smith in the second round of the 2009 draft and using a first-round draft pick on QB Tim Tebow.

Tebow was especially anything but a first-round NFL talent. Most GM’s around the league scoffed at the move even back then. Additionally, McDaniels traded Peyton Hillis away to the Cleveland Browns in 2010, only for him to break out the following season with a monster year.

Since McDaniels came back to the Patriots for the second time, he is responsible for bringing in guys like Greg Salas and Brandon Lloyd, both of whom did not work out for the team.  He even had a hand in Welker’s departure in free agency this past offseason, signing oft-injured receiver Danny Amendola to replace him.

Although this move has not yet played itself out, it has the potential to be another mistake. Welker was a sure thing as a slot receiver, and he was replaced with a player that carries a lot of risk.

For all of these reasons, McDaniels is not even in the same realm as Belichick, nor will he ever be in my opinion. He has shown a poor track record as a talent evaluator and should not be trusted as a head coach. Why? Well, he became head coach for the Denver Broncos after his first offensive coordinator stint with the Patriots.

How did that work out for the Broncos and their fans? I’ll answer that — not good. In nearly two full seasons as head coach for the team, the Broncos had a combined record of 11-17. In my opinion, McDaniels is extremely overrated and should not succeed Belichick when he retires.

Who would you like to see as the next head coach for the Patriots? Feel free to give your opinion in the “comments” section below.

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