New England Patriots Super Bowl Champs

Belichick Talks About the Departure of McDaniels to Denver

From: Pro Football

Three years ago, Pats coach Bill Belichick wasn’t pleased with the decision of defensive coordinator Eric Mangini to accept the head-coaching job of a division rival.

This time around, with offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels heading out of the AFC East, Belichick can afford to be a bit more charitable.

Said Belichick on Monday, in a statement released by the Patriots: “Josh McDaniels is one of the finest people and brightest, most talented coaches I have ever worked with. Since joining us eight years ago, Josh performed a variety of roles and excelled in every one of them. Between his work on defense, in scouting, player evaluation and coordinating the offense, Josh is a very well-rounded coach whose outstanding body of work speaks for itself.

“He is the product of a pure football environment which is evident in his approach to the game. On behalf of the entire Patriots organization, we thank Josh for tremendous success in New England and congratulate him and the McDaniels family for this most deserving opportunity for advancement.”

Though the Pats and Broncos don’t play twice a year, the servant will get his first shot at the master during the 2009 regular season, when the Broncos host the Patriots. The matchup arises from the fact that both teams finished second in their respective divisions. In 2008, the Patriots played every AFC West team as part of the current scheduling formula.

While we’re on the topic, the Patriots’ schedule is no cakewalk for 2009. In addition to their AFC East rivals, the Pats play the teams of the AFC South (Colts, Titans, Jags, Texans), the teams of the NFC South (Panthers, Falcons, Bucs, Saints), the Broncos, and the Ravens.

McDaniels’ first tour of duty with the Broncos includes two games each against the AFC West foes and games against the teams of the AFC North (Steelers, Ravens, Bengals, Browns), the NFC East (Giants, Eagles, Cowboys, Redskins), the Pats, and the Colts.

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