New England has a monopoly on football minds


(Josh McDaniels photo courtesy of the New England Patriots)
mcdanielsjoshplaycard
(Josh McDaniels photos courtesy of the New England Patriots)

Talk of Fame Network

Tom Brady is the best quarterback in the NFL. And according to our listeners and readers, the guy calling the plays for him is the best offensive mind in the NFL.

That would be Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, who was the runaway winner of our Talk of Fame Network poll last week asking who the best offensive mind in the league was.

It’s little wonder the Patriots are the favorites to win another Super Bowl this season. In back-to-back polls, Patriots coach Bill Belichick was selected as the NFL’s best defensive mind and McDaniels the best offensive mind.

McDaniels received 37.5 percent of the vote to easily outdistance Saints head coach Sean Payton at 20 percent, Arizona head coach Bruce Arians at 17.5 percent, and Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley at 12.5 percent. Head coaches Mike McCarthy of the Packers and Gary Kubiak of the Broncos both finished in single digits.

McDaniels worked his way up the ranks at New England, serving as a personnel assistant, defensive assistant and quarterbacks coach before finally becoming the offensive coordinator in 2006 at the age of 30. He called the plays in 2007 when Brady passed for career bests of 4,806 yards and 50 touchdowns, and the Patriots sped through the regular season unbeaten at 16-0.

McDaniels was hired as head coach of the Denver Broncos in 2009 but didn’t finish out two years before he was fired. He spent 2011 as offensive coordinator of the St. Louis Rams before returning to New England in 2012. The Patriots have since gone to four consecutive AFC title games with McDaniels calling the plays and won a Lombardi Trophy in 2014.

Payton, McCarthy and Kubiak have all called the plays for Super Bowl champions as well.

The three Talk of Fame Network hosts — Ron Borges, Rick Gosselin and Clark Judge — all voted for Arians, who took the Cardinals to the NFC title game in 2015.

“Having watched Josh McDaniels for most of his coaching career, it’s hard to argue against him,” Borges said. “Unless you watched his two years without Tom Brady. Unfortunately I did, so my choice is Arians, who has a mind that’s a job to watch at work.”

Added Judge: “It doesn’t matter who quarterbacks his offense — Roethlisberger, Luck, Palmer, Drew Stanton, Ryan Lindley or Logan Thomas — he finds a way to beat you and get to the playoffs.”

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