A recent report suggests that former Las Vegas Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels might consider a return to one of his former teams under a specific condition. McDaniels, along with GM Dave Ziegler, was terminated midseason following a disappointing 3-5 start. The 47-year-old left Las Vegas with a lackluster 9-16 record, a significant underperformance given the 10-win playoff team he inherited.
According to a report by Jeff Howe of The Athletic, McDaniels could contemplate a return to the New England Patriots, contingent on Bill Belichick continuing as the head coach. The report indicates that Belichick would need to present a solid plan for substantial on-field improvement after the Patriots’ subpar 4-13 season, the worst record under owner Robert Kraft’s ownership. As part of this plan, a potential reunion with McDaniels, a former Patriots offensive coordinator, is being considered.
McDaniels, who has had two separate stints with Belichick spanning nearly 19 seasons, was dismissed as the head coach of the Raiders in October. The report notes that McDaniels and Belichick have maintained a close relationship, and McDaniels is considered one of Kraft’s favored members within the organization.
“Belichick will need to lay out a firm plan to dramatically improve the on-field product after the Patriots’ worst record (4-13) of Kraft’s ownership. Part of that plan may include a reunion with former Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, who is considered a candidate to return, sources close to the situation said.
McDaniels, who has worked with Belichick for two stints spanning parts of 19 seasons, was fired as head coach of the Raiders in October. McDaniels and Belichick have remained close, and McDaniels has long been one of Kraft’s favorite members of the organization.”
The Patriots concluded the season with a dismal 4-13 record, marking the franchise’s worst performance since 1992. This year marks New England’s third losing and non-playoff season in four years, with five consecutive campaigns without a playoff victory.
Speculation surrounds the possibility of owner Robert Kraft parting ways with Belichick after the disappointing season. If Belichick remains, the potential return of McDaniels seems logical. Despite his challenges as a head coach (with an 11-17 record with the Denver Broncos from 2009 to 2010), McDaniels oversaw a consistently high-performing Patriots offense during his tenure as the offensive coordinator.
The report suggests a correlation between McDaniels’ departure for Las Vegas and the decline in quarterback Mac Jones’ performance, who excelled under McDaniels in 2021 but struggled after his departure.