After the Green Bay Packers fired head coach Mike McCarthy on Sunday, the speculation begins over who will become the full-time placement. New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniel seems the most-likely candidate.

Josh McDaniel
New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels supervising warm ups at the Patriots game. (Image: Elise Amendola/AP)

After a 20-17 loss to the Arizona Cardinals, the Packers fired Mike McCarthy. After 13 seasons and a Super Bowl title, McCarthy was not allowed to finish out the season. For the final four games of the year, the Packers promoted offensive coordinator Joe Philbin to head coach.

One More for Rodgers

The relationship soured between Aaron Rodgers, the highest-paid player in the NFL, and former coach Mike McCarthy. A divorce was inevitable based on their growing distance from each other. Packers president Mark Murphy insisted Rodgers did not get McCarthy fired. Furthermore, Rodgers will not play a key role in selecting the new coach.

“Obviously, he’s free to provide input and talk to us,” Murphy said. “But he’s not going to be a part of the process. The other thing I would say, Aaron was no part at all in the decision to move on from Mike.”

Aaron Rodgers is 35-years old and currently tenth overall in NFL career-touchdowns with 333. Rodgers played seriously hurt the last few seasons, but could only get lead the Packers to four wins in 12 games.

Rodgers has gas left in the tank, but whomever comes into Green Bay will have a small window to operate. They’d have to accelerate the learning curve quickly to take advantage of Rodgers peak years.

No Bad Guys

While McCarthy shouldered some of the blame, the damming Sports Illustrated article from last week also spelled out other internal issues. Problems at Green Bay run deep and are more systemic and structural, which created a stifling atmosphere. For most teams, the head coach reports to the general manager, but in the Packers organization, both report to the team president.

In the race to create a team filled with “no bad guys”, the ranks were filled with “nice guys” who might have lacked the same skill set as their competitors. The players the Packers drafted have not developed to their liking, or were seriously injured.

That’s when Rodgers’ skills come back to haunt him because the team assumed Rodgers was so awesome that he could pick up the slack. Even Superman needs help, especially when he’s constantly playing hurt.

A new coach is a welcomed relief, but Rodgers needs some star power, especially at running back, to help shoulder the offense.

McDaniels Coming to Wisconsin?

With Rodgers on the back nine of his career, he wants to try to win at least one more title for the Packers before he hangs it up for good. The NFL is a copycat league and there’s been a tsunami of offense this season. With the rest of the league fighting to evolve to a pass-first-ask-questions-later mutation, the Packers will be competing to snap up the few offensive minds available in the OC ranks.

Josh McDaniels, the OC from the New England Patriots, seems to be the hottest candidate right now. McDaniels got cold feet last year about accepting the head coaching gig at Indianapolis to coach Andrew Luck. However, after a heart-to-heart with Tom Brady, McDaniels returned to the Patriots for another season. McDaniels got ripped for his decision, but he felt he made the wise choice to stay in New England.

The Short List

Sean McVay’s staff at the LA Rams will certainly get raided in the offseason. Who knows if QB coach Zach Taylor will jump ship, but Taylor has helped transform Jared Goff into a deep threat. John DeFilippo, the Vikings OC, will definitely get a few calls.

Eric Bieniemy, the Kansas City Chiefs OC, will field his fair share of offers in the postseason. Even with former OC Matt Nagy moving onto Chicago, the Chiefs adjusted quickly to Andy Reid and Bieniemy’s high-octane schemes. Patrick Mahomes, in particular, is thriving under Bieniemy.

Several college coaches will get offers. Oklahoma’s Lincoln Riley stepped in for Bob Stoops and he’s guided the Sooners into the college football playoffs. Former Texas Tech QB and head coach Kliff Kingsbury’s name was thrown around many circles, but USC gobbled him up to bring the Air Raid to Pasadena.

Interim coach, Joe Philbin, has previous head-coaching experience with the Miami Dolphins. He went 24-28 in four seasons with the Dolphins from 2012 to 2015. The Dolphins fired Philbin four games into the 2015 season after a 1-4 start.  Philbin held the rank of OC at Green Bay from 2007 to 2011 until the Miami Dolphins hired him.

Philbin essentially has four games with Green Bay to prove his worth to Murphy. For now, the Packers will continue to look for potential candidates to coach their precocious star Aaron Rodgers. The thought on everyone’s mind is who has a better chance of bringing a Super Bowl title back to Green Bay? Joe Philbin or Josh McDaniel?