INDIANAPOLIS (WISH/AP) — Josh McDaniels will not be taking the head coach job in Indianapolis.
The team has confirmed the revelation that McDaniels will stay in New England, first shared Tuesday night in tweets from CBS Sports and ESPN sources.
“I’m speechless,” former Colts receiver Reggie Wayne told NFL Network. “I’ve talked with people in the Colts organization and they feel like they’ve been hoodwinked.”
The Colts had scheduled a news conference for Wednesday afternoon to introduce McDaniels as the new head coach.
A statement from the Colts on Tuesday night said:
“After agreeing to contract terms to become the Indianapolis Colts’ new head coach, New England Patriots assistant coach Josh McDaniels this evening informed us that he would not be joining our team. Although we are surprised and disappointed, we will resume our head coaching search immediately and find the right fit to lead our team and organization on and off the field.”
“The scheduled press conference at Lucas Oil Stadium will not take place tomorrow. More information will be forthcoming.”
The team on Tuesday announced the hiring of New England’s longtime offensive coordinator on its Twitter account. Word leaked last month that the sides were close to a deal.
“We are excited to welcome Josh McDaniels, who has agreed to terms as our new head coach!” the post read. “Press conference scheduled for Wednesday.”
Chuck Pagano was fired Dec. 31. The new coach will inherit a team that finished 4-12 in a season without injured quarterback Andrew Luck.
Within days of Pagano’s ouster, general manager Chris Ballard interviewed McDaniels during the Patriots’ postseason bye week. Two weeks later, reports indicated the deal was all but finished and potential suitors, like the New York Giants, started hiring other coaches.
A few hours after the initial reports about McDaniels, other leaks revealed Dallas Cowboys linebackers coach Matt Eberflus was set to become McDaniels’ new defensive coordinator — a decision Eberflus’ wife apparently confirmed by updating her Facebook profile with an Indianapolis Colts logo.
Ballard and team owner Jim Irsay met again with McDaniels the week before the Super Bowl and NFL.com reported Sunday that former Seattle Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell might take the same job in Indy. Bevell worked with Brett Favre for six seasons in Green Bay and two more in Minnesota. He also spent six seasons with Russell Wilson in Seattle.
McDaniels, the son of a Hall of Fame high school coach in football rich Ohio, spent 14 of the past 17 seasons working with Bill Belichick in New England. He worked his way up from personnel assistant to defensive assistant before being promoted to quarterbacks coach in 2004.
From 2006-08, he served as offensive coordinator, calling plays during New England’s perfect regular season in 2007. He returned as offensive coordinator in 2012 and stayed for five seasons as he debated which job to take.
McDaniels’ first coaching job, in 1999, was as a graduate assistant on Nick Saban’s staff at Michigan State.
The Patriots and McDaniels’ agent, Bob LaMonte, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
It’s unusual but not unprecedented in league history for a deal with a new coach to fall through at the last minute. McDaniels’ move was eerily reminiscent of his mentor, Belichick, who resigned as coach of the Jets with a handwritten note less than a day after he was hired in 2000.