New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, who in only his second season in the position presided over a unit that established new league records for touchdowns and points scored, has decided he will not interview for any head coach vacancies this year, ESPN.com has learned.
Both the Atlanta Falcons and Baltimore Ravens this week sought permission from Patriots officials to meet with McDaniels about their respective openings. Under league rules, New England essentially had to honor the requests, since the interviews would have been for a head coaching position.
But McDaniels, who also serves as quarterbacks coach, did not have to agree to the interviews, and has decided in general not to pursue any head coach positions for the 2008 season.
"I am very grateful for the chance to interview for NFL head
coaching positions, but I have decided not to pursue those
opportunities at this time," McDaniels, 31, said in a statement
Thursday. "I plan to focus all my attention on our postseason
Franchises seeking new head coaches can interview assistants from clubs with playoff byes this week, but the sessions must take place by Saturday. After that, coaches from playoff franchises can only be interviewed after their teams are eliminated, or during the "open" week between the conference championship games and the Super Bowl.
McDaniels, 31, along with Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Jason Garett, Cowboys assistant head coach Tony Sparano and Indianapolis Colts assistant head coach Jim Caldwell are arguably the hottest assistant coaches in the league right now. And it is only natural, given the landmark season the Patriots have enjoyed and McDaniels' prominent role in their success, that he would receive considerable attention.
But McDaniels has decided the time is not yet right for him to pursue head coaching jobs, and he will remain with New England for at least another season.
Coach Bill Belichick, during his Thursday news conference with the local media, declined to discuss whether teams had sought permission to meet with McDaniels. However, league sources confirmed that the Ravens and the Falcons both had faxed such requests. Belichick certainly feels that McDaniels' future is as a head coach.
McDaniels joined the New England organization as a personnel assistant in the scouting department. He became the quarterbacks coach in 2004 and was named offensive coordinator in January 2006.
Senior writer Len Pasquarelli covers the NFL for ESPN.com.