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What Monday Said About Josh McDaniels

Josh McDaniels continues to look like the best available head coaching candidate if the Bears need one, and Monday he proved it again.

The closing seconds ticked away and the New England Patriots pulled off a 14-10 road victory over Buffalo Monday night, one camera shot depicted a smiling Josh McDaniels on the sidelines.

You might even say the Patriots offensive coordinator wore a "cat-ate-the-canary" kind of smile.

The Patriots had done the inconceivable. No one would even attempt something like this in the NFL these days and the Patriots got away with it.

It's yet another reason why McDaniels is the ideal potential candidate to replace Matt Nagy as Bears head coach, should he actually be interested in the job. He isn't the only good potential candidate, but carries excellent qualifications with the fewest drawbacks.

On Monday night, McDaniels ran an offense that passed three times. He did this without a running quarterback but with rookie Mac Jones throwing three passes for two completions and 19 yards due to the incredibly gusty wind, mixed with cold, rain and snow in Buffalo. Josh Allen threw 30 times on the other side and the Bills had a short field goal blown wide by the wind.

John Fox once had the Bears pass only seven times and beat Carolina, and when asked about it the next day he gloated about how his Panthers team once had passed four times and won. Fox would have been proud of McDaniels.

The reason this makes McDaniels the ideal candidate is it proves McDaniels is not necessarily ego-driven, as many have charged in the past. His offensive plays and system do not have to lead to throwing it all over the field. There are many ways to win without ego involved.

McDaniels is more interested in doing whatever it takes to win a football game. He is known for his ability to handle passers and the passing game but is flexible enough to handle adjusting to situations like the Bears encountered in Sunday's loss to the Cardinals, when they couldn't handle the football in the rain.

McDaniels had the Patriots run it 46 times for 222 yards in Monday's win.

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The Bears have spent four seasons with an offensive staff high on promises and a sophisticated passing game that they say will "take shots," downfield when necessary. It's a passing attack determined to scheme players wide open and it hasn't worked to get the ball downfield or otherwise, as they've been ranked last in the league since Week 3 this season.

The Bears actually interviewed McDaniels in 2018 but hired Matt Nagy after he had been offensive coordinator for only a season in Kansas City. He had a reputation for throwing too much when he called plays. He was an Arena Football League quarterback and seemed to have too much of that throw-first-and-always style of ball ingrained.

McDaniels had a reputation for his ego and being headstrong as head coach in Denver for 1 3/4 seasons during the Jay-Gate era. He had Jay Cutler, didn't want him and sent him to the Bears. He tried to win with Kyle Orton and that didn't work, but it did result in Orton's best season as a quarterback.

He traded up to draft Tim Tebow and proved then he didn't know as much about personnel as he thought.

This was a long time ago. People learn from mistakes.

In Chicago he wouldn't need to worry about personnel as the Bears have drafted a quarterback for the future already and Ryan Pace is in charge. They also very much want the personnel acquisition to be a "collaborative" effort, as Pace has had more than his own share of misses. So it's not like McDaniels would need to sit on his hands when it came to what talent he'd coach.

More than anything Monday, McDaniels proved with three passing attempts that his ego is in the past and his goal is simply winning.

The Bears need someone with coaching ability and sensibility to know when his own passing attack is not necessarily the answer, that there are many ways to win football games.

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