Off Day Mailbag: Who would replace Josh McDaniels?

December 05, 2019 - 1:50 pm

Welcome to another Off Day Mailbag where Andy Hart and Ryan Hannable answer questions leftover from their weekly podcast.

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Look for @OffDayPod seeking questions for the podcast and mailbag. Tweet your questions to that account and then look for them to appear in the podcast, mailbag, or even both. 

Who takes over as OC if Josh leaves this summer? 1 year Offensive coach joe judge? (@AYoyel2)

This is a good question that may not have a good answer. We all know that Bill Belichick pretty much always likes to promote from within when having to fill holes on his coaching staff. He did it this past offseason all over his defense. If McDaniels were to leave – and that’s not a huge if given that his name is already being bandied about as a top candidate for jobs in Dallas and elsewhere – I think there are really only two in-house candidates for the job: wide receivers/special teams coach Joe Judge and tight ends coach Nick Caley. Neither has the type of resume that would make for an obvious choice. The well-respected, motivated and versatile Judge is in his first season working with the wide receivers. The 36-year-old Caley is in just his third year as a position coach. So, if McDaniels were to leave Belichick might have to consider bringing in an option from the outside – likely someone with ties to the system and experience working with the Patriots – or even ponder taking over the role himself. None of the options would appear to be ideal at this point.

— Andy Hart

Over/under: 18.5 points from the offense with fields longer than 60 yards. (@JHaertzen)

Assuming we’re talking about this week against the Chiefs, I would have to go with the under — but barely. Now, the Patriots can certainly score more than 18.5 points given some good field position with the aid of their defense and special teams, which has happened plenty of times this season. The Patriots offense has had a lot of trouble putting together long drives this season and while it seems like it could turn this week against KC’s 25th-ranked defense, the same was said last week against Houston and that obviously did not happen. This is a telling game for the Patriots, as they can make a big statement with a win against one of the best teams in the AFC.

— Ryan Hannable

With last week was supposed to be the week we “get back on track” offensively, what do you think our mindset is going into this game? (@shinobisous716)

Personally, I would look at the first drive against the Texans and try and replicate that over 60 minutes. While it didn’t result in a touchdown, the offense moved the ball down the field relying on the run game and had some success. The unit finished with 145 yards on the ground in the game, which was the most of the season, so maybe build of that and try and get the offense jump-started. It worked last year, so maybe it will again this year. Granted, it will be a lot harder without James Develin and Rob Gronkowski, but it seems more likely than Tom Brady all of a sudden finding great chemistry with young receivers.

— Ryan Hannable

Ravens v Bills is mostly a win / win situation for NE in the AFC race.  Which would you rather win that matchup?  I’d go with Buffalo so we could try and get 1st place back w/home field advantage. (@NikolowJ)

You answered your own question and kind of countered your own point. I don’t see it as a win/win situation in Buffalo on Sunday. I think the Patriots very much prefer – maybe need – the Bills to upset the Ravens and open the door back up for New England to secure the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoff picture. If the Ravens take care of their business – as they have been doing better than any team in football for quite some time now building the most impressive resume of wins in the NFL – it makes it much more likely that New England ends up as the No. 2 seed and might have to go on the road for the AFC title game. Yes, I know what happened a year ago. But I still think a game in a Baltimore needs to be avoided at all costs. So believe all of Patriot Nation should be rooting for the upstart, Josh Allen-led Bills this weekend.

— Andy Hart

Patriots get blown out this week. Agree?? (@40ERR)

While I think the possibility of the Chiefs blowing out the Patriots is a legitimate one, I will neither be expecting nor predicting it. First, even while it’s come back to reality from its historic early-season numbers garnered against dismal competition, New England still has a very good defense. That in and of itself limits blowout potential. Second, I expect the Patriots to both attempt and succeed at running the football on Kansas City’s defense. That should keep the overall scoring and blowout potential down. But the with Patrick Mahomes, Tyreek Hill and others, the Chiefs have the ability to blow out almost any team in any location at any time. Stephon Gilmore, Jamie Collins and the rest of the Patriots defense need to make sure that doesn’t happen.

— Andy Hart

Related: Still no kicker for Patriots, so what are their options vs. Chiefs?