One of the things NFL owners could have voted on this week was the so-called Josh McDaniels rule. If it had been voted on and passed, would have allowed teams to hire assistants even while their current teams were competing in the playoffs.
Ultimately, Proposal G-4 — the official designation for this potential rule change — was tabled. So, nothing is changing about how teams approach assistants coaching for playoff games after the regular season.
Initially, this proposed rule change came about because of how things went down with the Indianapolis Colts and McDaniels. If you remember, he had actually agreed to terms with the Colts before pulling out at the last second to remain with New England, causing no small amount of uproar in the process.
Because of how things played out, one might assume those leading the Colts organization would have been in favor of the proposed rule change. However, nothing could be further from the truth. New Colts general manager Chris Ballard was actually against the proposal.
“When you’re a playoff team, you’re trying to eliminate all the distractions that you can. And we’re going to be a playoff team and we’re going to have these issues,” Ballard said, per Stephen Holder of the Indy Star. “It becomes a slippery slope. We have rules in place for a reason. I think they’re good rules. It gives you a chance to interview and then, after the season, whatever happens, happens. In our case, he changed his mind and we moved on.”
Ballard did admit the entire situation was “painful,” but he also says “I kind of didn’t see what the big deal was.”
“You move to the next scenario. That’s just what we do. People are so scared of the unknown. I say just keep moving forward. What if a guy signs a contract and then, two weeks later, has second thoughts? What are you going to do? What are the legal ramifications?
Of course, one of the reasons Ballard might feel this way is that in the end the Colts came out smelling like roses. Instead of landing the offensive coordinator of the team that lost Super Bowl LII, they signed the offensive coordinator of the winning team, former Philadelphia Eagles coach Frank Reich.
Still, it’s pretty interesting that the team that was most impacted by the situation that triggered this potential change didn’t want it to begin with.