By MyFM's Jake Archer - It's Tuesday morning and the pain from the Patriots Super Bowl LII loss still cuts deep. Some of the men who helped guide the team are now moving on with new careers though. Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia was officially announced as the new head coach of the Detroit Lions yesterday, and today saw Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels take the same position with the Indianapolis Colts. It's the end of an era here in New England, as both coaches were part of a historic run of success.
The 41 year old McDaniels had been with the Patriots in two different stints since 2001 when he joined Bill Belichick's staff as a personnel assistant. He was previously a senior graduate assistant at Michigan State under Nick Saban. He worked his way up the ranks while helping the Pats win three Super Bowls in '01, '03 and '04. McDaniels was officially named offensive coordinator in 2006 and stayed in that position through the 2008 season. He was a hot head coaching candidate because of his success with Tom Brady and the record breaking 2007 offense. He also helped backup Matt Cassel take over the reigns in 2008 after Brady was lost for the year with an ACL tear. After the 2008 season, he was hired as the head coach of the Denver Broncos.
In Denver, McDaniels only lasted two seasons. His tenure was marred by failure and controversy before he was ultimately fired. He spent the 2011 season in St. Louis as the offensive coordinator before coming back to New England in 2012. During the run from 2012 through 2017, McDaniels once again became a hot commodity on the coaching market but had turned down multiple opportunities until now. With a close relationship with Tom Brady and unparrelled success, some in New England even wanted Josh to remain with the team before eventually taking over for Bill Belichick. It seems that he was not willing to wait that one out.
It appears that McDaniels will also be taking Patriots special teams coordinator Joe Judge with him to Indianapolis. Judge is 36 and has been with the Pats since 2012. He was promoted to his current position after the 2014 season. This is no small loss as the Patriots special teams unit has been among the best in the league.
Matt Patricia is 43 years old and joined the Patriots as an offensive assistant in 2004. He climbed the ladder and was named defensive coordinator in 2012, the same year McDaniels came back. He had also been a coveted head coaching candidate in the past few years but had never really seemed to be in serious talks to leave until this year. Patricia has not always played nice with the league office, once wearing a t-shirt depicting NFL commissioner Roger Goodell as a clown off of the team plane in front of television cameras, and came off as a rough around the edges guy with a beard who wasn't exactly "the CEO type." He'll always be a fan favorite because of his interesting personality, his wild look and the fact that he won two Super Bowls and never missed an AFC championship game. But, I do think his lasting legacy in New England won't be looked on quite as favorably as McDaniels' will be.
Patricia looked dumbfounded in his last game ever with the team and couldn't stop an Eagles offense for the life of him. It's likely that is the lasting memory along with all of the other seemingly mediocre defenses that he presided over. It's a shame, but it doesn't really feel that bad too see him go. McDaniels, on the other hand, feels like a huge loss and I believe Indy is getting a good one. I won't root for him, because I don't like the Colts at all, but I also hope he can do better this time around and not end up in a debacle like he did in Denver.
Stay tuned in the coming days for news on who will take over the spots vacated by McDaniels and Patricia. There are some rumors floating around about candidates, but nothing is confirmed.