The last time he was fully in charge of the Patriots offense, Josh McDaniels helped orchestrate the single greatest offensive season in NFL history.
Receivers Randy Moss, Wes Welker, Donte Stallworth, Reche Caldwell, Jabar Gaffney and even Kelley Washington had quickly become "McDaniels guys" in 2007.
This past weekend, the Patriots signed the ultimate "McDaniels guy" to a three-year, $12 million contract. After much speculation, Brandon Lloyd landed in New England.
The 30-year-old Lloyd, who led the league in receiving yards with 1,448 in 2010, was the star pupil in McDaniels' brief tenure in Denver. He followed McDaniels to the Rams a year later via an in-season trade.
It was never McDaniels' offensive scheming that got him into trouble around the league. It was other things, notably demeanor.
When then-Kansas City Chiefs head coach Todd Haley snubbed McDaniels in a postgame handshake in 2010, he reportedly told McDaniels, "There's a lot of s-- being talked about you."
Adding to the turmoil surrounding McDaniels that season was the situation in which Denver video coordinator Steve Scarnecchia broke an "integrity of the game" policy by video taping part of a 49ers walkthrough. McDaniels never reported the incident and he was soon-after fired from the Broncos.
So the former wonderkid never accomplished his goals in his first head coaching stint in Denver and had a mediocre season in St. Louis last year (the Rams finished 30th in the league in passing).
By all accounts, 2012 should be McDaniels' comeback season in the NFL. He deserves a shot at redemption in a league that eats its coaching young.
Having Tom Brady once again will certainly do wonders. Having Lloyd back as his star pupil once again will undoubtedly give the former "next great head coach" another leg up.