Feb.07 - SportLand: After two days of reflection and conversations with the Patriots, New England offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels has decided not to accept the Indianapolis Colts' head-coaching job, the team confirmed Tuesday night. "After agreeing to contract terms to become the Indianapolis Colts' new head coach, New England Patriots assistant coach Josh McDaniels this evening informed us that he would not be joining our team," the team said in a statement.
"Although we are surprised and disappointed, we will resume our head-coaching search immediately and find the right fit to lead our team and organization on and off the field." Josh McDaniels chose to return to the Patriots, thanks in large part, to his solid relationships within their program, especially with Bill Belichick. In the past 48 hours, Patriots owner Robert Kraft began talking with McDaniels and ultimately wound up sweetening his contract, helping to entice McDaniels, who had yet to sign a contract with the Colts, to remain in New England, a source said.
But this wasn't a decision about money. The truth is, McDaniels, 41, has been vacillating on this decision throughout the interview process, ever since meeting with the Colts on wild-card weekend. It is the reason a second meeting with Colts officials and team owner Jim Irsay was held. McDaniels was trying to get comfortable with the idea of taking his family out of New England and moving to Indianapolis, sources said. Throughout the process, McDaniels had emphasized to the Colts that he would need time to mull the decision and discuss it with his family. The more McDaniels reflected on potentially having the opportunity to coach the Colts, the more it did not feel right to him and the better it felt to remain in New England.
McDaniels still would like to become a head coach again, but this time, in this instance, he was not comfortable. The Krafts also stepped in this week to make McDaniels feel even more wanted, and the two sides were able to come to an agreement Tuesday night that will enable New England to retain its offensive coordinator at a time it is losing its defensive coordinator, Matt Patricia, to Detroit as the Lions' new head coach. The about-face from McDaniels caught the Colts off guard. In a text to ESPN's Mike Wells, one member of Indianapolis' front office described the situation as "Unreal.
I'm at a loss." McDaniels' decision to stay could spark speculation that perhaps Patriots head coach Bill Belichick's tenure is about to end, but those close to McDaniels say that isn't the case, a source told ESPN's Mike Reiss.
The bigger factor to McDaniels was that the Patriots, who hadn't addressed his future until the past week or so, made an ultra-aggressive late push to try to entice him to stay. Had that happened a month or so ago, even if there was clarity that Belichick was definitely going to be the coach in 2018 (which he decisively is), McDaniels might not have pursued other head-coaching jobs as aggressively as he did. Indianapolis now finds itself in a coaching bind, playing catch-up at a time when the other head-coaching openings in the league have been filled.