Tom Brady gives ringing endorsement of Giants coaching candidate


How much does a Tom Brady endorsement matter? Just ask longtime Miami Dolphin Jason Taylor.

Taylor was a divisional rival of Brady for years, and no player in NFL history sacked the Patriots quarterback more than Taylor did. But the two also developed a friendship despite being opponents, and Brady vouched for Taylor’s ability when his name came up for consideration for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Brady even went as far as to write a letter on Taylor’s behalf to Hall of Fame voters, and the defensive end was elected to the Hall in his first year of eligibility, which surprised many.

Now Brady is backing not an opponent but a longtime Patriots coach in his bid to land a head coaching position.

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The quarterback has given his endorsement to New England offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, who is interviewing for the top job with the New York Giants. McDaniels has been a Patriots coach for 14 of Brady’s 18 years in New England.

“Josh has done an incredible job. He’s an incredible coach and a great friend,” Brady said to WEEI-FM in Boston. “This is that time of year where coaches get an opportunity. A lot of coaches got fired, and that means other guys will get hired. You want to take the good ones. We have some great coaches, and Josh has been such a great coach for me. All those things sort themselves out. I am sure he will be focused on our team and what he needs to do to help us win just like everyone else will when the time comes.”

Not only does McDaniels have an interview lined up with the Giants, but he is also scheduled to interview with the Colts and Bears this week. While the Patriots are on a bye, this would still seemingly involve lots of travel, which could take away from his preparation for the Pats’ divisional game. However, Fox insider Peter Schrager says New England has a unique setup when it comes to teams wanting to interview their coaches:

Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia also has interviews lined up: He is set to meet with the Giants, Lions and Cardinals.

Both McDaniels and Patricia have spent 14 years within the Patriots organization in various roles. Each has been in a coordinator since 2012, and Brady talked about how important that has been for New England.

“Continuity is such a key to success,” he said. “I think from the pro level down to the college level there’s so much more of that now, which I guess is good for the teams that can keep the continuity. I think in a way that has been really great for us. I think it’s hard for a player, hard for coaches, if you have to restart every couple of years, but that’s the NFL. …

“We’ve had great continuity and it’s been great. It’s really a credit to our coaches, our players and organization for being able to keep everyone together. I think you keep everyone together by winning. There’s a lot of things that go into winning and losing games. I feel like we’ve had a great run and the continuity is great. Hopefully we can keep it going.”

McDaniels is in his second go-around with the team after joining the organization in 2001 and leaving after the 2008 season. He spent the 2009 season and part of the 2010 season as the head coach of the Broncos before being fired, in part, for his role in a videotaping scandal in which a Broncos employee illegally taped a 49ers walkthrough.

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McDaniels then spent the 2011 season as the offensive coordinator of the Rams and rejoined the Patriots for their 2011-12 postseason run. When Bill O’Brien left his offensive coordinator position following the 2011 season, McDaniels inherited that role, and he has been the Pats’ OC ever since.

This isn’t the first time McDaniels has interviewed for head coaching jobs since then, as he spent the Patriots’ bye week last season doing the same thing. He interviewed with the 49ers, Rams and Jaguars.

He was considered the leading candidate to land the San Francisco job, but he pulled out of consideration just days before the Patriots’ AFC championship game.

If New England ends up losing both McDaniels and Patricia in the same offseason, this will be unusual but not uncharted territory for the organization. After winning three Super Bowls in four years, the team lost OC Charlie Weis and DC Romeo Crennel after the 2004 season. New England then went 10-6 and loss in the divisional round the following season.

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Ross Kelly has been a sportswriter since 2009.
Ross Kelly has been a sportswriter since 2009 and previously worked for ESPN, CBS and STATS Inc. A native of Louisiana, Ross now resides in Houston.
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