What if we’ve had Josh McDaniels all wrong this whole time?

Bleacher Report came out with a brief report that Brady and McDaniels’ relationship deteriorated towards the end and it was partially the reason Brady left. Sure, this came from Bleacher Report, a site that will publish most anything for the sake of content. Sure, Tom Brady immediately called out the story as bullshit, but to all these things I say I Don’t Care. I choose to see the truth. Maybe nobody took it seriously because of Bleacher Report’s reputation, and Tom Brady has a top notch social PR team that would know that keeping good terms with New England is a good move. The truth briefly surfaced but it got shut down. But let’s bring this to light. Josh McDaniels is a hero and we didn’t even know it.

Here’s what I see. McDaniels used to be on great terms in New England. He was well loved and a true company man. But when he had a chance to go to Denver, he did. He beat the Patriots in a game that will be remembered purely for his celebration. But then things went sour and he had to return, tail tucked between his legs. Belichick invited him back to the circle, but things were never the same after that. Josh, tried as he might, never found quite the same favor in Billy’s eyes. Over time, this grew into a small tumor of silent resentment.

McDaniels continued to be the good boy. He achieved success once more, helping the Patriots reach the pinnacle of the sport once more. But by this point, he wasn’t getting any credit. It wasn’t him. it was Gronk. It was Brady. The defense won the Super Bowl over the Seahawks, not the offense. The win against the Falcons? Same deal. No credit to Josh. It was all Brady and a historical collapse by Atlanta. Josh felt weaker and weaker. But even though Billy had forgiven him by this point, he felt unfulfilled. He yearned to leave again. He got a chance.

But the Colts did not want McDaniels. They only pretended to want him. They instead offered him a difficult choice. Return to his Boston home and take care of the death star from inside. Nobody respected Josh that much despite his efforts to reclaim his reputation, but this would be career suicide. But by now he was older. Wiser. He understood that the Patriots would be fine without him. He understood that his chances in Indy were mediocre, what with Andrew Luck being dead and all. And above all, he knew the Colts were right. The league had tried to topple the Patriots for two decades. Even Roger dragged them through a nonsense scandal hoping to end the reign. Nothing could penetrate the wall of Foxboro. Not by force.

He limped back to Billy, who gladly accepted him once more, pleased to see the trained dog was too afraid to run away. He could control McDaniels. or so he thoughts. McDaniels set to work. But like when the enigma code was broken by the allies in WWII, he knew he couldn’t reveal what his plan was too fast, or he’d be easily blamed the scapegoat and fired. The long con was on. He managed to call enough difficult plays in practice to wear down the mighty Gronk. He convinced Tom to see a quack doctor that would annoy Belichick, all in the name of fighting the aging process. He did his absolute damnedest to call bad plays against the Los Angeles Rams, but sadly the Rams proved too stupid to just win the stupid game. Another ring on his finger wasn’t the goal, but it would help his cover. Most importantly of all, he convinced Belichick that the offense was not declining, and did not require repairs, outside the unstable clown of Antonio Brown. The offense withered and died in 2019 and thankfully, since nobody respected or credited Josh, Brady and Belichick got the blame and the relationship finally broke. He even managed to convince Belichick that something named Jarrett Stidham would be a fine replacement for a legend. Brady went to Tampa. Gronk went to join him. The Patriots didn’t draft much to help this Stidham, who would now be forced to lead an offense that the previous season was a huge disappointment even with possibly the greatest football player of all time under center.

Time will tell if this was enough to destroy the death star. It may be in Josh’s best interest to make Stidham a serviceable QB. To put the Patriots into the purgatory of perpetual mediocrity would do far more long term damage than tanking everything at once.

Josh sacrificed his career and his public image to do the right thing. When the husk of the Patriots is finally burned to the ground, maybe we can truly thank him for his service.