It’s been eight days since Jed York fired Chip Kelly and Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels appears to be the leading candidate to take over as the 49ers next head coach.
GM candidates such as Louis Riddick have been open about wanting to work with him. Steve Young has endorsed him. Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle has reported McDaniels’ preferred choice is the 49ers. Everything is trending in his direction.
But the 40-year-old’s resume has two stains on it that can’t be ignored: What exactly happened in Denver? And hasn’t his only true success been with Tom Brady in New England?
To clear up some of McDaniels’ background, Boston Globe beat reporter Ben Volin joined The Audible on KNBR 1050 Monday morning with insightful nuggets of information.
“He readily admits that he was not emotionally — just maturity-wise — prepared for the head coaching job,” Volin said. “He was only 32 when he took it with the Broncos. He went out to Denver and tried to be Bill Belichick Jr. And that doesn’t work unless you’re Bill Belichick and you already have three Super Bowl rings on your resume. He was kind of a dictator. A little Napoleon out there. And it didn’t sit well with a lot of the Broncos people. At the first sign of trouble, the Broncos just kind of used that excuse to get rid of Josh.
“Like I said, he didn’t invest emotionally in people. He didn’t listen to anyone. He was very cold and distant. He says he’s really worked hard on being a better family person, just simple things, like caring more about his players and giving people time away from the team to do their family and personal things. There’s a lot more to being a head coach than drawing X’s and O’s. Your the CEO of the entire organization. This first step towards fixing a problem is admitting a problem and Josh has been very upfront about that.”
So McDaniels has changed as a people person. That’s big news. But what about this lingering Brady question? A whopping 11 of his 14 NFL seasons have been spent in New England. Charlie Weiss did nothing away from the Patriots. Belichik’s coaching tree has been surprisingly barren. Not many assistants have thrived away from Foxborough.
All Volin can report is what people tell him. And people tell him Brady loves McDaniels.
“Tom Brady raves about him. Tom Brady speaks with Josh every day. Probably speaks with Josh more than he does his own wife,” Volin said. “I think Gisele is sick of Tom always texting and talking with Josh in the middle of the week. They have a great relationship and that’s what it takes. A constant communication between the team’s leader and the coach. Tom hopes Josh doesn’t leave, but he also wants his friend to go out and have a successful career.
“If you are looking for a young offensive candidate, the guy who helped the Patriots through a lot of success over the last decade is a pretty good place to start.”