Patriots offensive assistant Josh McDaniels has been conspicuous by his absence at media appearances during Super Bowl week.
McDaniels, the former Broncos head coach who joined the Patriots’ staff during the playoffs and will serve as their offensive coordinator next season after Bill O’Brien leaves for Penn State, has not participated in the usual Super Bowl events where players and coaches are made available to the media.
That’s rare: The NFL generally requires assistant coaches and players (even bench warmers who won’t be active on game day) to participate in Media Day. As Osi Umenyiora found out the hard way, those who miss their media responsibilities can be subject to fines. But NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told PFT that because McDaniels isn’t currently considered a coordinator or a position coach, he’s not required to attend.
“It is up to the team and Josh,” Aiello said. “We do not require non-position coaches or other staff members to attend the media sessions here.”
So because McDaniels carries the generic title “offensive assistant,” he can get away with skipping media responsibilities that are required of other coaches, even coaches who are lower on the totem pole than he is.
It’s easy to see why McDaniels doesn’t want to go to media events, where he’d likely be questioned about subjects like his unsuccessful tenure as the Broncos’ head coach and the $50,000 fine he was given during that tenure for failure to immediately report a subordinate who surreptitiously videotaped a 49ers practice. But just because McDaniels doesn’t want to talk, that doesn’t mean the NFL should allow him to stay mum. Everyone else is forced to meet the media during Super Bowl week, and McDaniels shouldn’t be shielded from the press.