That's why so many of us assumed McDaniels' transition back to being the Patriots' offensive coordinator this season would be seamless. It hasn't worked out that way.
Schein: Perception vs. reality
New England's offensive line has struggled with myriad injuries. The team has dramatically gone away from a shotgun-heavy, spread-style offense early in the season in favor of more plays with Tom Brady under center. Wes Welker has lost snaps to Julian Edelman. There have been more power formations. Brady hasn't quite looked like himself yet.
"Brady just seems uncomfortable with the entire offense right now -- calls, personnel, everything," Greg A. Bedard of the Boston Globe wrote of the Patriots' 20-18 loss to the Arizona Cardinals. "Of the 12 quarterback pressures (four sacks, six hurries, two knockdowns), three could be attributed to Brady (1.5 sacks, 1.5 hurries). It was one of those jittery games we see every now and again in which he feels pressure that isn't there."
The offense will improve. There are too many weapons for it not to, but these issues date to August.
"It would be hard to imagine that most teams are playing at their peak at this point, and I think we're all trying to work to get better in a lot of different areas: coaching, playing, the way we practice and prepare," McDaniels said. "I think it's just a normal process that every team goes through each year."