The Las Vegas Raiders relieved Josh McDaniels of his duties as head coach Tuesday night amid a 3-5 start to the season. After two failed head coaching gigs with the Denver Broncos (2009-2010) and the Raiders (2022-2023), could the once-successful offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach return to the New England Patriots?
It wouldn't be the first time McDaniels returned to the Patriots after a failed head coaching stint. After coaching the Patriots in various assistant roles from 2001-2008, McDaniels was hired to lead the Broncos as their head coach. Drafting Tim Tebow and Demaryius Thomas in his first year, McDaniels led the Broncos to a combined 11-17 record before he was fired in 2010.
McDaniels spent a year with the St. Louis Rams before returning to New England as the offensive playcaller under Bill Belichick. In the nine seasons that followed, McDaniels would become one of the best offensive coordinators in the league, helping the Patriots win three more Super Bowls. After a lot of interest and almost leaving in 2018 to lead the Indianapolis Colts, McDaniels stayed with the Patriots until the Raiders hired him to be their head coach in 2022.
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With McDaniels now fired from another head coaching role, our Patriots insider Phil Perry could see the possibility of the pattern repeating once again.
"It wouldn't surprise me if he wanted to take the rest of the year off to decompress," Perry said on Wednesday's episode of The Gameplan. "He likes the area here (in New England), so it wouldn't surprise me if he was looking forward to getting back here sometime soon."
The Patriots, 2-6 on the season, could use the help. With a struggling offense and a quarterback lacking confidence, McDaniels could find a way to make a quick impact.
"If I'm the Kraft family, I would be looking at it and reaching out, saying 'Hey, do you want to stop on in to One Patriot Place? We're trying to get this quarterback fixed, here,'" Perry added.
With Bill O'Brien currently handling the roles of offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, Perry also noted that McDaniels can't come in and step on his toes, either. Although this year may not show it, O'Brien is well known for being a good coach and play-caller, and was sought after by many before joining the Patriots this offseason.
"Another mind in the room, someone who knows the quarterback really well," Perry said of McDaniels. "If I'm the Kraft family, I'm saying, 'It couldn't hurt, could it?'"
Patriots QB Mac Jones has only gotten worse since his rookie season, where he threw for 3,801 yards and 22 touchdowns on a 67.6 percent completion rate, getting a Pro Bowl nod and finishing second in Offensive Rookie of the Year voting. McDaniels was his play caller that year.
"You're really trying to figure out what you have in Mac Jones," Perry said. "Get another big brain in here who can figure it out and go from there."
As hopeful as Perry seems about the reunion between McDaniels and the Patriots, he also added that he wouldn't be surprised if McDaniels wanted to take a little time off.