ATLANTA — The simplest way to describe Patriots defensive line coach Brendan Daly? People who know him seem to love using two words.
“All ball,” said one of his former players.
“All-in,” said a former colleague who coached with him in college.
“Not just mentally and emotionally, but physically, if he has to be,” he added. “That’s what I love about him — that intensity. But he always has the best interest of the player at heart.”
All ball. All in. Daly is a guy whose coaching chips have always been pushed to the middle of the table. And now, that could pay off with another promotion: if the Patriots follow history and promote from within when Brian Flores leaves for Miami, Daly appears to be well-positioned to be New England’s next defensive signal caller.
From his time as an undersized tight end at Drake University to his stretch as the leader of New England’s defensive line the last four years, Daly has consistently charted a path as a forward-thinking football mind, mixing passion and smarts, all while keeping his teammates' (and later, his players') best interests at heart.
That approach has rubbed off on his players — one Patriots’ defensive lineman said Monday night he and the rest of the defensive line hope Daly is the one that gets the call.