On Monday, the Indianapolis Colts made an announcement that New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels would be the next head coach of the team. The announcement was your typical worst kept secret as everyone knew he was getting the job long before the Super Bowl, but league rules prevent official announcement until the coach in question’s current team ends their season. That didn’t stop McDaniels from planning; ie giving coordinator suggestions so the Colts could go get the staff put together sooner rather than later.
And on that very same day with what seemed like moments later, the announcement came that McDaniels would be rescinding his acceptance.
Obviously, this threw everything for a loop. Reports came out that no one on the assembled staff were notified or even consulted of McDaniels’s decision before or after the announcement was made. The Colts, who had a press conference scheduled for McDaniels to meet the media along with several tweets promoting the new hire, were put into damage control, taking down the tweets and trying to instead hold a press conference reviving people’s faith after this fiasco.
What a mess. I’m sure glad the San Francisco 49ers aren’t doing any of this this year.
The staff has collectively said they were happy the 49ers weren’t doing another coaching search, but one of the things to be even more happy about is fans don’t have to deal with the drama that comes with it.
The 49ers have had their own share of highs and lows during their recent coaching searches, consistently finding a way to get anxiety going. When Jim Harbaugh was pegged as the next head coach in 2011, the Miami Dolphins swooped in at the 11th hour. There were also rumors that Harbaugh might have preferred to remain at Stanford. The Dolphins in particular offered Harbaugh a lucrative contract and some predicted the 49ers were left out. Luckily that didn’t happen — but that was a pretty tense couple of hours.
2015 was even worse. The 49ers had an almost exhaustive search and a seemingly still strong roster, even after some key retirements. The playing field narrowed and the organization zeroed in on Adam Gase as their next head coach. While there was no official announcement, it all but appeared Gase would be the next head coach. However, amidst all sorts of rumors and speculation, the team changed course and named defensive line coach Jim Tomsula the next head coach.
2016 was even worse, while 2017 started out questionable but ended fine. After what seemed like a significant amount of time passed from the rest of the league wrapping up their coaching search, the 49ers hired Chip Kelly in 2016. 2017 was a period of the 49ers having candidates no one wanted, current head coach Kyle Shanahan being linked in a report that he preferred Denver, and the hiring of John Lynch that turned everyone through a loop.
At least the latest batch of hires turned out OK. It’s been refreshing this year to just sit and watch all the carnage go down knowing you don’t have to deal with it. This is a bad look for both the Colts and Josh McDaniels, the Colts because they apparently weren’t that attractive that a coach can pull out at the 11th hour and McDaniels for perpetrating the very action. Either way, I’m glad we don’t have to deal with any of this rage and anxiety.