The feeling around the Colts has become dramatically different than it was six days ago, in the aftermath of Josh McDaniels informing Indy that he’d be staying with the Patriots. And with Frank Reich happily taking over in Indy, there’s a sense that maybe the Colts got lucky when McDaniels got cold feet.
As accurately explained by former Patriots linebacker Willie McGinest last week, McDaniels didn’t get an official or unofficial commitment that he’d replace Bill Belichick, whenever Belichick retires. The Patriots weren’t inclined to make that kind of promise, given the basic reality that circumstances can change dramatically, especially if Belichick decides to stick around for another decade.
McDaniels simply wanted to stay. The fact that Belichick reportedly will be opening the vault to McDaniels, teaching him the things he needs to know in order to become an effective head coach, implies that Belichick previously hadn’t. Which means that the Colts, who we’re told had been obsessed with bringing the “Patriot Way” to Indy, quite possibly had expected McDaniels to already know the things that Belichick has yet to impart to the team’s long-time offensive coordinator.
So maybe McDaniels wanted to stay because he realized that he wasn’t ready to give the Colts what they were hoping to achieve. Which means that the Colts ultimately are better off without McDaniels. Between the coach having misgivings about leaving and not having the keys to the New England kingdom, there’s a chance things may have turned out as poorly for McDaniels with the Colts as they did for McDaniels with the Broncos.
McDaniels has been with the Pats since 2001 as a coach, with the exception of the three years he left to coach the Broncos and Rams, and he hasn't learned what he needs to know to be an effective head coach in that time? I think he missed the boat.