When the Denver Broncos met the New England Patriots in the regular season, the big story was Tim Tebow vs. Tom Brady. Brady undoubtedly won that shootout as the Patriots put up a whopping 41 points and Brady threw for 2 touchdowns and ran for another.
This go around, the main story still revolves around Tebow and Brady, but there’s one extra twist thrown into this story. The man responsible for drafting Tebow is back in the picture, this time on the other side of the field. Josh McDaniels finished his season with the St. Louis Rams in which he put their offense in the gutter, and joined the Patriots for their playoff run. That brings up all kinds of ethical issues surrounding sportsmanship, but by league standards, the late-season hire is legal.
There are two articles in the Denver Post today about the issue.
Once again, Belichick has found a loophole in the rulebook by hiring McDaniels as an offensive assistant coach the week before the Patriots play McDaniels’ former team. And the NFL has plugged its ears and covered its eyes to a move that would seem to at least violate the spirit of fair competition.
There is nothing wrong with the Pats rehiring McDaniels, who worked under Belichick from 2001-08. When Mike Shanahan was fired as the Raiders’ head coach four games into the 1989 season, he rejoined the Broncos as an offensive assistant coach later that same season. What makes McDaniels’ case unique is he just completed his 2011 season with the Rams. The season carries on only for playoff teams. And yet McDaniels is able to join the Patriots in time to help them gain a competitive advantage not only against the Broncos, whom he knows well, but five other playoff teams — New York, Green Bay, New Orleans, San Francisco and Baltimore — whom his Rams played this season. – Mike Klis (Denver Post)
And this by the always edgy Woody Paige:
What’s to keep the Broncos this week from temporarily using fired Dolphins coachTony Sparano, who faced the Patriots twice this season, as a consultant? Or McDaniels’ recent boss in St. Louis,Steve Spagnuolo, who has been dumped? Spagnuolo coached the Giants’ defense in the XLII Super Bowl victory over the Patriots. Why can’t he work for the Broncos on Saturday?
Because that’s not right. – Woody Paige (Denver Post)
What do you think of the move by the Patriots?