Matt Patricia vs Josh McDaniels: Which Patriots coordinator makes more sense as the Jaguars head coach?
It appears the Jaguars will be conducting interviews with both Josh McDaniels and Matt Patricia. On the surface these two candidates could not have less in common, save the obvious: they are both coaches for the New England Patriots. McDaniels coaches offense, while Patricia coaches defense. Patricia is a husky guy with a massive beard; Josh McDaniels is slim and trim. McDaniels has head coaching experience and has nearly 10 years of experience as an offensive coordinator; Matt Patricia didn't get his first oppurtunity as a coordinator until 2012.
But what these two coaching candidates do have in common is key. And that is Bill Belichick.
Belichick's coaching tree spreads far and wide and it appears it will extend ever further once the NFL coaching carousel comes to an end.
The argument for Patricia is easy. He's coordinated one of the best defenses over the last couple of years and has had success while losing key pieces each year, including Chandler Jones and Jamie Collins, two of the best talents the Patriots defense has seen in years. He's well respected by Belichick and by most around the league. At only 42 years of age it appears Patricia has a very bright future in front of him.
The argument against Patricia is just as easy to find. He has no head coaching experience and has never had a meaningful job outside of New England. Is he just a product of Bill Belichick? Will he be able to transition from coordinator to head coach? Is he the right guy to be the face of an organization?
On the other side you have Josh McDaniels, who is seemingly linked to every single head coaching vacancy. At 40 years old McDaniels already has head coaching experience. He's coached Tom Brady to his some of his best seasons. He was able to guide a Tim Tebow lead team to the playoffs and win a road playoff game in Pittsburgh. Earlier this season McDaniels matserfully was able to get the best out of Jimmy Garoppolo and rookie quaterback Jacoby Brissett while Tom Brady served his four game suspension.
Now, McDaniels does have his fair share of detractors, most of whom would point to his somewhat childish demeanor when he was the head coach and general manager of the Broncos. McDaniels rubbed some the wrong way and was admittedly often to hasty when making important decisions. But that was some time ago and the maturation of McDaniels has been well documented over the last several years.
So who's a better fit for the Jaguars?
I would go with McDaniels. He's already had his first shot at being a head coach, and seemingly learned a lot from it. He's an offensive "genius" and will likely get the best out of Blake Bortles or whomever is quarterbacking the Jaguars in 2017. This move comes with a bit of risk as you never know if a guy has truly matured until he returns to power. When given the power of being a head coach again will McDaniels revert to his old ways or show that he truly is a new coach?
What makes me think this is a real possibility?
Josh McDaniels and the Jaguars general manager Dave Caldwell were college roommates and teammates at John Carrol. They are familiar with each other and apparently both like Blake Bortles - A report surfaced recently that the Patriots would have drafted Blake Bortles in the first round of the 2014 draft had he been available. It is my sincere belief that Dave Caldwell will do everything he can, save a "mandate", to ensure that Blake Bortles is the starting quarterback for the Jaguars in 2017, not due to stubborness, but due to his belief in the kid. And if Caldwell can land a head coach that also believes in Bortles, I think he will have a very hard time going in a different direction.
It makes too much sense. In my opinion McDaniels is one of the three most likely guys to land the Jaguars head coaching gig.
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