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Josh McDaniels To New England; You Can Always Go Home

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The New England Patriots have hired Josh McDaniels following his one-year, ill-fated stint as the St. Louis Rams' offensive coordinator. Adam Schefter reported the news on Saturday, one day after the Patriots asked for and received permission to speak with McDaniels, who was still under contract with the Rams.

McDaniels will join the Patriots immediately, helping out during their playoff run. In 2012, he will become their offensive coordinator, replacing Bill O'Brien who is off to breath new life into the Penn State football program. The biggest surprise here is that McDaniels did not move across the state to join Scott Pioli and the Chiefs as their offensive coordinator. Of course, all that talk started before the Patriots had a vacancy. What better way to boost your coaching stock than oversee an offense centered around Tom Brady.

It's worth noting, again, in all of this coaching talk just how good an elite quarterback makes his coaches look. Just ask Mike Shanahan.

As far as requiem for McDaniels' tenure in St. Louis, there really isn't much to say. In hindsight, it's easy to see why it was such a grand failure. Dysfunction has followed McDaniels once he was no longer Belichick's apparatchik. The Rams brought him into a place where dysfunction was the rule, where the head coach was uncomfortable with him.

By the way, let that be a lesson to anyone thinking Mike Martz would be a good fit to return to St. Louis. Dumping Spagnuolo and Devaney was as much about purging (purges, apparatchiks, someone's putting that masters thesis in Soviet history to good use, finally) dysfunction, the kind of dysfunction that contributed to a 10-38 record.

Best of luck to McDaniels. In a way, it's unfortunate that he never worked out here. It really was intended to enliven the dink and dunk offense. The best intentions of mice and men and all that ...