Josh McDaniels Apologized to Colts, Stayed with Patriots After Receiving Clarity

FILE - In this Jan. 21, 2018, file photo, New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels watches from the sideline during the first half of the AFC championship NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Foxborough, Mass. McDaniels has backed out of a deal to become the Indianapolis' Colts new coach, a decision that shocked the franchise hours after it announced his hiring. The Colts confirmed McDaniels' decision in a statement Tuesday night after reports emerged that the Patriots' offensive coordinator had opted to stay in New England with coach Bill Belichick. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)

Charles Krupa/Associated Press

New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels offered a public apology to the Indianapolis Colts on Tuesday, nearly two months after going back on an agreement to be their new head coach.

According to Jim McBride of the Boston Globe, McDaniels praised the Colts for their handling of the situation: “And I apologize to anyone who was affected in any way. Indianapolis did a tremendous job. They have a tremendous organization and I was lucky to be considered and I just think once I found out [what my future in New England was], I made the right decision for me and my family at this time.”

Additionally, McDaniels said he received “clarity” regarding his standing in New England from owner Robert Kraft and head coach Bill Belichick, which led to his decision to stay: “Once I heard from Robert and Bill on that Tuesday, it just gave me reason to pause and consider this whole situation.”

McDaniels said he went to Gillette Stadium on Feb. 6 after accepting the job in Indianapolis, intent on cleaning out his office and preparing for life with the Colts.

On the heels of speaking with Kraft and Belichick, however, McDaniels described how his thought process changed:

“The opportunity to stay here and work for who I think is the greatest owner in sports and the best head football coach in the history of our game, to work with the best quarterback that has ever played … Look, I’m privileged to have the opportunity to do that and when they kind of crystallized that—’Hey, here’s what we see going forward and here’s how we would like you to fit into it’—it gave me a reason to stop and say, ‘All right, what’s the best decision for me?’ And certainly it was difficult. But I made the decision on my own, nobody pushed me into it.”

McDaniels still publicly has the same job description in New England, although he received a raise, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

While the Patriots have said nothing regarding McDaniels’ being Belichick’s successor, there has been no shortage of speculation that the offensive coordinator was given some assurance he’ll be the choice to take over for Belichick when he retires.

McDaniels was the Denver Broncos’ head coach for parts of two seasons in 2009 and 2010, but he went 11-17 and eventually wound up back in his old role with the Patriots.

The 41-year-old is a five-time Super Bowl champion with the Pats, having served in various coaching roles, and he narrowly missed winning No. 6 in New England’s 41-33 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LII.

As for the Colts, they acted quickly in hiring former Eagles offensive coordinator Frank Reich—who was McDaniels’ counterpart in the Super Bowl—as their new head coach.