The search for the next Los Angeles Rams head coach has been underway for a few weeks and the team has wanted to get a head coach who can help out their struggling offense. Potential candidates in Jon Gruden, Jim Harbaugh, and even Pete Carroll have been crossed off the board.
Leading candidates for the head coaching job right now are Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan and New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. Despite having success with the Patriots, the Rams should avoid hiring McDaniels as their head coach.
Reason #1 – McDaniels has been with the Rams before
Hiring McDaniels as head coach would be like re-hiring Jeff Fisher, the team has already seen him before and they know what they get from him. In 2011 the Rams had McDaniels as their offensive coordinator and it went about as well as the past two seasons have gone.
This could bring up the argument that personnel is the issue, not the coordinator. However, the Rams offense was very bad, ranking 31st in yards and 32nd in points. Passing wise the team was ranked 30th in passing yards and 32nd in passing touchdowns.
Sam Bradford was the quarterback for ten games until he got injured and for the other six games the team had AJ Feeley and Kellen Clemens. It was not like Clemens or Feeley were starting at quarterback for the whole year, this was a Sam Bradford who was in his second season.
Speaking of quarterbacks in their second season, Jared Goff will be entering his second season in the NFL. Why go back to a guy who did not improve your second year quarterback and you are currently in the exact same situation, but this time he gets to be the head coach.
Reason #2 – Without McDaniels the Patriots offense was still good
McDaniels left the New England Patriots after the 2008 season to be the head coach of the Denver Broncos and offensive coordinator of the St. Louis Rams for three seasons combined.
In that time, the Patriots never finished below sixth in points and eighth in yards. A team that has Tom Brady at the helm is not going to have a bottom tier offense. That is just a fact of life.
In the Tom Brady era the offense has only ranked outside of the top ten in points once (2003) and in yards five times (2001-2003, 2006, 2014). The 2006 and 2014 seasons saw the offense ranked 11th in yards and that 2003 season featured the 12th ranked offense in points.
Brady has shown that he can produce with basically no receivers. Brady has been able to persevere through injuries to guys such as Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman numerous times. If the Patriots offense had numbers in the middle of the pack, then we could say McDaniels had a bit more to do with the offense, but they still dominated in his absence.
Reason #3 – His head coaching job with Denver flopped
McDaniels was the head coach of the Denver Broncos for 28 games and went 11-17 before he was fired with four games to go in the 2012 season. In his first season as head coach the Broncos went 8-8 with a below average run game and an above average passing game.
The following season saw the same from the pass game, but the run game fell a bit. With a Rams run game that never figured things out with the offensive line and Todd Gurley, that generates a concern. Jeff Fisher tried to build a run first offense during his tenure, which had its up and downs, but the franchise is stuck with Fisher’s philosophy in a way.
This team can get any head coach they want, but the effects of Fisher are still there. The team needs a coach that can help the offensive line and Todd Gurley because the struggles in the run game were not solely on just the line or Gurley.
Once again, hiring McDaniels would be just like re-hiring Fisher. Fisher had a history of losing seasons, but his ability to connect with players and his experience helped him get hired. McDaniels has had success with the Patriots as their offensive coordinator, but elsewhere he has struggled and the Rams have seen what he can do first hand and it went terribly.
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