The New England Patriots' offensive infante genius is this year's hot new name as head coach timber, including the new opening here in Baltimore. But other than seeing him on the New England sidelines on TV with some commentator extolling his masterminding of the Patriots' record-setting offense, what are the credentials of the 31-year old McDaniels?
For starters, he's an Ohio guy born and was raised in Canton. Like his NFL patron, Bill Belichick, (both left) he's the son of a football coach. In high school, McDaniels was a quarterback and kicker and at college, John Carroll University, he was a wide receiver. Another alumnus of John Carroll is a guy who had a little success in the NFL, Don Shula, who was just 33 when he got his first NFL head coaching job.
When the Ravens won their Super Bowl in January 2001, McDaniels finished a stint as a graduate assistant at Michigan State under Nick Saban. His first NFL job was with the Patriots, where he was hired in March 2001 as a personnel assistant. His progression of responsibilities with the Pats went as follows: film breakdown and preparation of scouting charts, working with DBs, leap to QB coach in 2004, and promotion to offensive coordinator in '06 (although he is suspected of some play-calling the previous season).
Perhaps the most remarkable bit of coaching he can be credited with is not this record-breaking season but for cobbling together an effective passing attack in 2006 with a set of second-tier receivers, such as Reche Caldwell and Jabar Gaffney (in the playoffs), aging Troy Brown and a collection of running backs and tight ends.
Of course, through it all, the Patriots still had future Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady.
One more thing when considering McDaniels and evaluating his potential as a head coach based on the Patriots setting NFL marks in so many statistical categories this season. When the Ravens hired Brian Billick, he had just accomplished much the same with the Minnesota Vikings. A common element of both those teams ... it was Randy Moss' first year with each club.
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