There is no succession plan in place in New England. So says NFL Network analyst Willie McGinest.
McGinest, a three-time Super Bowl champion and Patriots Hall of Famer, said Friday on NFL Network that he had spoken with Josh McDaniels, who eschewed a second chance at a head coaching gig with Indianapolis to return as Pats offensive coordinator. McGinest said, that despite rumors to the contrary, McDaniels was "absolutely not" promised the head coaching role upon the retirement of Bill Belichick, whenever that may be.
"I listen to a lot of people talk about it like he's taking over for Belichick in the next year or two. That's Bill Belichick. Nobody's just going to push him out of coaching. Ownership and Belichick have enough respect, especially Josh, for each other to know that that's never going to happen," McGinest explained. "But there is a situation where at some point Belichick may retire, but it's not going to be in the contract, and you're not going to tell him when he's going to retire. Too much respect and because he's the greatest coach to ever do it, it's never going to happen."
McGinest added that, in addition to there being no contract language about a potential succession plan either, there is also no "handshake" deal or wink-wink agreement and that McDaniels' main reason for staying in New England was his desire to maintain the status quo.
"Josh wanted stability," McGinest insisted. "That didn't take place until after the conversation that they had after he was about to leave. The only stability he had in place was being the new head coach. His family, his thoughts, after having a conversation with his wife of course and ownership and Bill, the best place for him, where he wanted to be, where he wanted to stay was in New England."
McGinest, who is still a fixture at Patriots Place, is one of the lone public voices supporting McDaniels' move, and just so happens to be one of the only analysts to have spoken with him this week.
"He's very at peace," McGinest explained. "He doesn't like the fact of the timing of how it all went down as far as Indianapolis and the Colts and all that, but he does not regret his decision. He wanted to do what what was best for his family, what was best for him long-term. He felt that was the best place for him. He really doesn't want to coach anywhere else."