Josh McDaniels confident offense can make critical plays, won’t argue with Bill Belichick decisions

Dallas Cowboys v New England Patriots
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Aggressive decisions on fourth down are in vogue around the league right now, but Patriots head coach Bill Belichick didn’t make on in overtime against the Cowboys last Sunday.

The Patriots had a fourth-and-three from their own 46-yard-line on the first possession of overtime and they opted to punt the ball away rather than try for the first down. The Cowboys drove for a touchdown, but would have only needed to get a field goal in order to secure the win. New England also went conservative with 90 seconds to play in the first half when they chose to take a knee rather than try for points that would have loomed large come the fourth quarter.

They were getting the ball to start the second half and that’s been a situation when Belichick has been aggressive in the past, but offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels said on Tuesday that he is never “going to argue with the decisions that are made in those situations” because he’s not as tuned into the entire picture as the head coach. If the call is to get aggressive, though, McDaniels said he believes in the unit’s ability to get the job done.

“I believe in our entire group. Like I said, if they tell us to go for it then I have faith and confidence in our preparation and what we do each week to prepare and get ready to go,” McDaniels said, via “When those opportunities present themselves, like I said, it’s our responsibility to be ready and also execute properly when they come up so we can convert and make those decisions the right decisions for the team. I have great confidence in all our guys.”

A different approach may not have led to a different result for the Patriots in Week Six and we’ll have to wait to find out if they play things differently when a similar situation presents itself at some other point this season.

10 responses to “Josh McDaniels confident offense can make critical plays, won’t argue with Bill Belichick decisions

  1. Patriots are doing very well, considering they’re playing with a rookie QB. Patrick Mahomes sat out his rookie season. It’s not easy. The Pats are competing. I wouldn’t start questioning coaches. Success has a lot to do with the players, too. These guys didn’t just suddenly forget how to coach. Besides, Dallas is looking almost unbeatable.

  2. Huge Belichick fan, but wasn’t especially pleased with the offensive decisions in this game. The Patriots seem to be playing not to lose, which has never been a trademark. I simply couldn’t imagine 90 seconds left in the first half and basically taking a knee.

  3. Unfortunately, I don’t think this offense can make a big play against a good team, in a crucial situation. They would not have converted that 4th & 3. We Pats fans can only hope that Mac makes it through this year healthy.

  4. BB should have gone for the 1st down on 4th and 3. By that point in the game his defense couldn’t stop a high school team. Why BB got rid of Gilmore is truly perplexing….unless he has already resolved himself to dialing it in this season

  5. Shula used to be the league’s BB. But in the ’90’s, the game basically passed him by. His coaching was no longer formidable.

    BB looks the same right now. It’s early, but the way he is coaching some of these games & situations doesn’t look like it used to. I think without doubt, having the GOAT QB allowed him to take more risk than he feels comfortable with now.

  6. The Pats jumped out to a 21-7 lead before the 3rd TD was wiped out by a holding call.

    On the next play Gregory went by the OL and RB like parked cars. It looked like Mac, who didn’t see him coming, was sawed in half and fumbled.

    Later their was a blocked punt.

    Bill went conservative until the 4th quarter.

    The better choice would be to stop putting Mac under center on 2nd and 10+ wherein he can’t see the defense.

    No, don’t argue with Bill but how about some persuasion?

  7. Remember Mark Sanchez? There were a lot of good QB-s in the league whose confidence was broken and they were done. At this point we don’t know wether Mac would follow suit, so better play conservative and build up the QB. No deep water for him. That will come later. And after 2-3 years they will set the sharks free too. For now: patience.

  8. Haven’t seen Mac buttfumble yet. He’s not seeing ghosts. He is completing over 70% of his passes.

    He is a special talent.

  9. The Patriots’ coaching is probably better now, than at any time in the past. They were never perfect. Tom Brady, like all great QB’s wins a lot of games for you. All the questionable decisions get swept under the rug. Even though they went ignored by the media while Tommy was there, they never went unnoticed by Belichick, and so he worked on everything despite winning all the titles. That’s why he was able to win so many. He’s a better coach right now than he’s ever been. They’re playing very well. If this young QB becomes elite, they could be back in the super bowl some day.

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