The same day the Indianapolis Colts announced the hire of Josh McDaniels, the team also announced his departure.
Per an official statement released Tuesday night, McDaniels will no longer succeed Chuck Pagano as Colts head coach.
“After agreeing to contract terms to become the Indianapolis Colts’ new head coach, New England Patriots assistant coach Josh McDaniels this evening informed us that he would not be joining our team,” the Colts said in a statement. “Although we are surprised and disappointed, we will resume our head-coaching search immediately and find the right fit to lead our team and organization on and off the field.”
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The news came as a surprise to many, as it was widely reported that the Colts and McDaniels had been in talks throughout the postseason. Most assumed that McDaniels would have already committed if the Patriots didn’t happen to be in the middle of a Super Bowl run.
Sources tell ESPN that over the last two days, Patriots owner Robert Kraft started talking with McDaniels and improved his previous contract conditions. McDaniels had yet to sign an official contract with the Colts, so he was legally free to change his mind.
It is not believed, according to those people with knowledge of the deliberations, that McDaniels was promised that he will be Bill Belichick’s successor as the Patriots’ head coach. However, Patriots owner Robert Kraft has said in the past that McDaniels would be a strong candidate to succeed Belichick when Belichick is done coaching the team.
There was speculation Tuesday night that the Colts’ new set of candidates could include Kansas City Chiefs special teams coordinator Dave Toub and Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier. The Eagles also have a trio of respected assistant coaches in offensive coordinator Frank Reich, quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo and defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz.
McDaniels had begun to put his coaching staff in place, a group that was to include Dallas Cowboys linebackers coach Matt Eberflus as his defensive coordinator. There were reports Tuesday night that Eberflus, along with new offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo and defensive line coach Mike Phair, have contracts with the Colts and will be given the chance to remain in the organization.