Saturday, January 4, 2014

Pats players: 'Easy to buy in' to 'brilliant' McDaniels


As the annual NFL coaching carousel starts spinning faster and faster, the superlative work of the New England Patriots coaching staff this season is sure to attract attention from coach-needy franchises.

One of the first coaches mentioned is Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, whose name has been connected particularly with the Cleveland Browns vacancy. He will reportedly meet with Browns officials on Saturday, according to ESPN.

McDaniels, who was a hot, young prospect when he was hired as coach of the Denver Broncos in 2009, was abruptly fired 13 games into his second season. He now seems destined to coach again, and the reason why is evident in how his current players speak about him.

"Josh is a great coach. He’s brilliant offensively," fullback James Develin said this week, via the Boston Herald. "It’s really just great to kind of experience coming up under him last year and now playing for him. It’s an incredible thing."

Receiver Danny Amendola added: "He’s a great football mind. Everybody plays really hard for him. He demands a lot. You’ve got to put out a lot of small details and intricate route running, which in turn makes your team that much better.

". . . It’s easy to buy in and really play hard for him."

The proof of that is in this season's results as McDaniels has managed to keep his offense in the top-10 in scoring and yardage despite, losing a handful of his top offensive players from 2012.

His ability to gameplan and extract from the available talent has led the Patriots to 12 wins and a playoff bye this weekend, and are the exact abilities that make him an attractive head coaching candidate.

"You always feel like you have an opportunity with a coach like that, who’s going to put you in the right situations," receiver Julian Edelman said.

McDaniels tenure in Denver ended in a less-than-pretty way, in part thanks to in-house clashes with Broncos officials but mostly because of 17 losses in his final 22 games.

The ordeal perhaps removed him from the top coaching minds in the game, but his work this season proves he's a great coach, and maybe one that will now get another opportunity.

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