With five games left in the 2021 NFL regular season, it is not too early to talk about head coaching prospects for the 2022 season.
College coaches and coordinators on NFL teams are always the most likely candidates.
A name that is emerging as a possible head coaching candidate for 2022 is a familiar one, and he has been down this road before.
Who is he?
He is New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels.
I see #JoshMcDaniels is trending. The development of Mac Jones is undeniable, yet ongoing. I think that’s very intriguing for him. His prospects for this upcoming head coach hiring cycle should be equally so.
— IG: JosinaAnderson (@JosinaAnderson) December 4, 2021
McDaniels Is Qualified
McDaniels has the resume to be a head coach in the NFL any time he wants.
McDaniels is a six-time Super Bowl Champion at the age of 45.
Let’s not forget McDaniels had two other head coaching opportunities so far in his career.
Former HC Of The Denver Broncos
Quick note on Josh McDaniels. He was 33 years old when he got the Denver job, 10 years ago.
People learn from failure and Josh had a long time to reflect on what worked and what didn't the last time he was handed leadership of an NFL team. pic.twitter.com/xE8NsDouvR
— Michael Killi (@MikeKilli) January 10, 2020
McDaniels spent two seasons as the head coach of the Denver Broncos.
He was hired in 2009 to replace Mike Shanahan and stayed into the 2010 season.
In 2009, the Broncos went a respectable 8-8 and finished second in the AFC West.
However, things did not go nearly as well in 2010.
The Broncos were 3-9, and McDaniels was fired in early December.
Almost The HC Of The Indianapolis Colts
In February 2018, after the Patriots lost the Super Bowl to the Philadelphia Eagles, McDaniels was officially named the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts.
Surprisingly McDaniels had a change of heart after the announcement and did not ultimately take the position.
He chose to stay with the Patriots.
It’s been exactly one year since Josh McDaniels told the Colts “nvm I gotta win another Super Bowl with the Patriots.” pic.twitter.com/HI8YSSGrrt
— Lauren Campbell (@lalalalaurrrren) February 6, 2019
His Decision Was Met With Backlash
At the time, McDaniels decision was met with backlash.
His agent resigned, and many speculated that he would never get another head coaching opportunity again.
Others believe that McDaniels is sticking around to take over the head coaching position of the Patriots if and when Belichick decides to retire.
Belichick, like his former quarterback Tom Brady, has amazing longevity and at 69 years of age, shows no signs of walking away from the game.
Another potential factor in his decision is that Belichick’s assistants rarely succeed outside of New England.
In addition to McDaniels, former defensive coordinator and Detroit Lions head coach Matt Patricia did not fare well after he left.
After being fired by the Lions in 2020, he rejoined the Patriots in 2021 as a senior football advisor.
Young NFL Coaches Are Emerging
The coaching demographic in the NFL is changing, and McDaniels definitely must notice this.
The younger generation of coaches has arrived.
These coaches are in their late thirties or forties, and they are revolutionizing the game.
Those include Cleveland Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski, Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay, Green Bay Packers head coach Mike LaFleur, and Buffalo Bills head coach Sean McDermott to name just a few.
Maybe McDaniels, who is in the same age group as these young successful coaches, is ready to take the leap once again.