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Josh McDaniels backs out of deal to become Colts coach

FILE - In this Oct. 2, 2016, file photo, New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, left, and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels talk before an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills in Foxborough, Mass. The Indianapolis Colts announced Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018, that hey have hired Josh McDaniels as their new head coach. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File)

The Associated Press

Tuesday turned out to be a tough day for the Indianapolis Colts.

The team had already announced its new head coach - Josh McDaniels, the offensive coordinator of the New England Patriots - and had scheduled a news conference to introduce him when McDaniels backed out.

McDaniels had even agreed to contract terms with the Colts to replace Chuck Pagano.

"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 Colts said in a statement Tuesday night.

The Patriots and McDaniels' agent, Bob LaMonte, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

"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."

It's also not clear how the Colts will proceed from here.

By spurning Indy after it waited 22 days for the playoffs to end, McDaniels leaves the reeling franchise as the only one without a coach -- in early February. New England's defensive coordinator, Matt Patricia, left Belichick's staff a day after the Patriots' Super Bowl loss to become coach of the Detroit Lions.

McDaniels was a head coach in Denver in 2009 and most of 2010 before he was fired with three games left in that season. He worked with the St. Louis Rams in 2011 and returned to New England in 2012.

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.

Although McDaniels never signed his contract with Indianapolis, his stint was even shorter. The team announced his hiring on its Twitter account late Tuesday morning. Hours later, the Colts had deleted the tweet and replaced it with the statement about his withdrawal.


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