Patriots OC Josh McDaniels is taking over QB coach duties for the final two games of the season.
The New England Patriots are all too familiar with losing touted assistants to promotions with other organizations or the college ranks, but it was still fairly surprising when it was announced earlier this week that quarterbacks coach Jedd Fisch would assume the head coaching vacancy at the University of Arizona.
In normal circumstances, the Patriots would probably wait until the offseason to name his permanent replacement. However, they luckily already have somebody on the coaching staff who has vast experience at the position.
This weekend, offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels revealed that he will take over quarterback coaching duties for the remaining two games of 2020, which begs the question of whether his new dual coaching role could have a positive impact on the Patriots’ struggling offense?
Objectively speaking, the Patriots’ aerial attack couldn’t possibly look much worse than it has over the last four weeks. During that span, Cam Newton is 47-of-80 (58.7%) for 481 yards, which equates to an average of just 120.2 per game, and one touchdown to three interceptions.
Taking that into account, we can only picture a scenario where the passing game improves by having McDaniels oversee play-calling duties as well as becoming the prominent voice in the quarterbacks room. After all, he served in both roles for the last eight seasons (!) before Fisch came over from the Rams this year. And wasn’t he supposed to unlock Cam Newton prior to 2020 anyway? We’d welcome that right about now!
Suffice it to say that the Patriots’ offense enjoyed tremendous success with McDaniels holding down these two important gigs. We know the unit looks A LOT different in terms of talent and dynamism compared to the previous eight seasons, but what else do they have to lose?
The answer is nothing and it clearly wasn’t working with the 44-year-old solely calling plays this campaign. Perhaps an expanded role will afford him the flexibility of opening up the offense as opposed to being conservative…especially in the red zone, where seemingly his only move has been asking Newton to improvise on a QB draw despite the opposing defense being fully aware that it’s coming.
Again, we’re not overly optimistic that McDaniels taking over for Fisch will translate into immediate success, but we certainly don’t see a downside to it, and fans in New England should no doubt view that as a positive.