NBC Sports: Josh McDaniels to inform Patriots he's headed to Indianapolis

ILE - In this Dec. 31, 2017, file photo, New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels watches from the sideline during the first half of the team's NFL football game against the New York Jets. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)
Bob Kravitz

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) — Sources tell NBC Sports' Tom Curran that New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels will tell Bill Belichick today that he plans to take the Colts job.

With the Super Bowl in the books, the Indianapolis Colts hope to announce McDaniels at a press conference later this week.

Questions arose about McDaniels possibly backing out of the Colts job after a report yesterday from ProFootballTalk.com, part of the NBC Sports family, that McDaniels hasn't yet told the Patriots he's leaving. When the subject came up after the game, he told NBC Sports Boston, "I'm not going to talk about that tonight."

Bob Kravitz says it would be a "seismic shocker" if McDaniels did back out because assistant coaches are already on their way here to join his staff. It would also "destroy any future chances at becoming a head coach anywhere outside of New England."


Now the waiting begins. Or rather, it resumes. For weeks, we've watched the Patriots knock off the Tennessee Titans and Jacksonville Jaguars, listened to two weeks of Super Bowl hype, then finally, Sunday, watched the relentless and gutsy Philadelphia Eagles upset the Patriots, 41-33, in Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis.

So now we wait again for the white puff of smoke to emanate from the Colts’ 56th Street practice facility, wait for word that the team will be holding a press conference to introduce their new head coach.

Could be Monday. Could be Tuesday. Could be any day this week.

Now, I’m not unaware of the rumors, most of them courtesy of Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio. He said Sunday he is hearing chatter that Josh McDaniels might not be signed, sealed and delivered to the Colts, that there is some talk that he might want to remain in New England despite the fact that Bill Belichick is expected to return next season and beyond.

Here’s what Florio wrote for his website, Pro Football Talk:

The Colts think they’ll be getting a new head coach after Super Bowl LII. And while they may ultimately land Josh McDaniels, there’s some reason for concern.

PFT has heard increasing chatter throughout the day that McDaniels may decide not to leave New England.

As reported during the Super Bowl pregame show on NBC, McDaniels has not yet told the Patriots he’s leaving. If he ultimately stays, McDaniels could make it very difficult for himself to get another head-coaching job, especially via the unofficial wink-nod postseason interview process, in which deals aren't really done but as a practical matter are supposedly done. Who would trust him the next time, if he stiff-arms the Colts this time?

Some believe that McDaniels would be sticking around if coach Bill Belichick does the unexpected and retires after the game. Absent an immediate promotion, McDaniels likely would need a significant pay raise and/or a firm commitment that he’ll replace Belichick, whenever Belichick leaves. Ownership may not be inclined to provide a guarantee of that nature, however.

Well, then…

I checked around, and heard none of that. It doesn't mean there's no chance that McDaniels might have a change of heart, a move that would certainly destroy any future chances at becoming a head coach anywhere outside of New England. It just means nobody confirmed what Florio was reporting. And understand, assistant coaches already are on their way to Indianapolis, so it would be a seismic shocker if McDaniels went back on his word.

So we wait. And in the meantime, we marvel at what the world champion Philadelphia Eagles pulled off in Super Bowl LII, upsetting the New England Patriots, 41-33, in Minneapolis.

Coaching matters. And Philly head coach Doug Pederson called the gutsiest, most fearless game I can ever remember seeing in such a high-stakes game – even gutsier than the Saints’ Sean Payton, whose onside kick changed the Super Bowl against the Colts.

He went for it on fourth-and-goal at the Patriots’ 1-yard line when virtually every other coach would have taken the no-brainer field goal while already leading by three points. But he knew, field goals don’t beat the Patriots. And that play call, well, it doesn't get much more creative than that, Nick Foles pulling in the touchdown pass.

And he went for it again on fourth-and-one at his own 45-yard line with 5:39 left and the Eagles trailing by one point, understanding that kicking the ball back to Tom Brady was a recipe for disaster. Success again.

He was utterly fearless in his play-calling and decision-making, and Nick Foles, who proved again why it’s so important to have a quality backup at the game’s most important position, was brilliant in ways nobody could have conceived when he stepped in for Carson Wentz.

All McDaniels wanted was one more special memory with Brady, who was not only his quarterback throughout the Patriots’ dynasty, but a man he called "a friend for life." One more Super Bowl title. A sixth ring, one for the other hand.

Brady, he did what he could do Sunday, throwing for 505 yards and three touchdowns. McDaniels, he did what he could do, dialing up the right calls at the right times, adjusting after deep threat Brandin Cooks left the game with a head injury. New England’s 33 points were a record for a losing team in a Super Bowl.

Over time, though, the bitterness and anguish will abate, and McDaniels, we firmly believe, will come to Indianapolis and embrace the new challenge of resurrecting the Colts.

Unless, of course, he doesn't.

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