Patriots McDaniels Not Getting Distracted

PPatriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels put kabosh on interviews to stay focused for the Patriots.

Black Monday came and went as expected with a number of NFL head coaches losing their jobs, seven to be exact.  With that many openings around the league, speculation immediately turned to successful coordinators as replacement candidates, including Patriots' Josh McDaniels.  McDaniels prefers to keep his attention on playoff opponents instead.
McDaniels was reportedly being targeted by several of the teams looking for a change in direction.  With his previous head coaching experience for the Denver Broncos – where he succeeded Mike Shanahan --  McDaniels could be a good fit for a number of clubs.  But McDaniels decided to put an end to the speculation that he'd leave New England at this time.

I'm happy here. My family is happy here. We're excited about what's ahead of us here in the playoffs, and to talk about any other opportunities at this point is, to me, irrelevant, because I'm totally focused on this season and what this season holds. I couldn't be more excited to be here and be a New England Patriot and try to do the best job that I can with the title I have right now.

McDaniels didn't completely shut the door on taking a position elsewhere, but by taking himself out of the equation now, his chances of landing a job this season decline significantly each game the Patriots advance in the postseason.

The time McDaniels spent in Denver, and subsequently with the Rams as a coordinator, were experiences the Patriots' assistant believes make him a stronger coach.

"I think as long as you can go through that process and try to get better from each mistake that you make or from each positive result that you get, there's always something to learn from those things and try to make you a better coach, a better leader, a better teacher, a better person, a better communicator, a better staff member," McDaniels said. "Hopefully that's what I've tried to do with all my experiences, including the ones that I've recently had that weren't here in New England."

For now, the Patriots will turn their attention toward potential opponents, while McDaniels focuses on how to get the Patriots offense generating touchdowns rather than field goals in the Red Zone.  New England has scored well below their league leading 34 points per game the past two weeks, a concern McDaniels said the team is addressing.

New England will play the highest seeded AFC winner from this weekend's game, next Sunday, January 13, 2013, at Gillette Stadium.  The Patriots have faced all three (Houston Texans, Baltimore Ravens and the Indianapolis Colts), beating two (Houston, Indianapolis).

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