Bill O'Brien has officially been reported as the new head coach of the Penn State Nittany Lions, a job that will instantly become one of the most interesting to watch in the recruiting and offseason phase of all of college football. However, an interesting subplot will also include just who will take over for him as the offensive coordinator for the New England Patriots, and it seems an old face could go back again.
Mike Reiss is reporting that Josh McDaniels is among the outside options to come back after being let go by the St. Louis Rams. McDaniels has also been linked to the Chiefs this off-season and yet with O'Brien's exit, it seems that New England is the more likely destination.
"A Josh McDaniels return, if he's ultimately available (he was not fired when Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo was shown the door and is still under contract in St. Louis), makes a lot of sense," writes Reiss. "It was McDaniels' departure following the 2008 season to become Broncos head coach that opened the door for O'Brien's ascent up the Patriots' coaching ladder, giving him the chance to work with Tom Brady as quarterbacks coach/playcaller. Unlike some other Patriots assistants who have left to become head coaches elsewhere, no bridges have been burned when it comes to McDaniels and the Patriots.
"This would fall in line with Belichick's past hires, in which he placed a premium on their having a background in the team's system. Belichick isn't about to change the offensive system, which has been expanded over 12 years -- from Charlie Weis, to Josh McDaniels, to Bill O'Brien -- so the new coordinator is going to have to adapt to what is already in place."
If McDaniels heads back to the Patriots, that's going to make things interesting as the Chiefs look for a new offensive coordinator, which was the troubling side of the ball for the Chiefs this season. It's clear they need help and yet the coaches they've talked to so far aren't going to bring those changes since names like Jeff Fisher likely won't sign and Jack Del Rio is a defensive coach. There's lots more unexpected activity ahead for the Chiefs.