FOXBORO (CBS) — Josh McDaniels is happy in his role with the Patriots, running the show as the team’s offensive coordinator as he grooms rookie quarterback Mac Jones. It has all worked out very well this season, with the Patriots sitting at 9-4 and in the top seed in the AFC.

But this weekend’s clash with the Colts stirs up some memories for McDaniels and the Indianapolis fanbase. After all, McDaniels could be fielding questions about going up against his old franchise, instead of inquiries about his decision to remain in New England.

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It was just a few years ago in 2018 when it looked like McDaniels was leaving New England for another head coaching gig. He had accepted the opening with the Colts, and even had his assistants all lined up. An introductory press conference was scheduled by the Colts, complete with the promise that “visor season” was coming to Indy.

But then McDaniels had a change of heart, and left the Colts at the altar. He returned to New England to remain Bill Belichick’s offensive coordinator, and the Colts were left emptyhanded.

Indianapolis ultimately hired Frank Reich, and it’s worked out pretty well for the Colts. Reich is 35-26 in Indy so far, leading the Colts to the playoffs in two of his three seasons. They’re primed for another playoff berth this season, sitting at 7-6 and in the sixth-seed in the AFC. The organization is probably pretty pleased that they were able to get someone like Reich after McDaniels left them hanging.

And McDaniels is pretty happy that he stuck around in New England, winning another Super Bowl ring at the end of the 2018 season. He may have only had Tom Brady as his quarterback for two more years when he turned his back on Indianapolis, but now he’s working his magic and molding Mac Jones into a star.

Asked about what he has learned about himself since turning down the Colts job during a video conference call on Monday, McDaniels said that he has no regrets.

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“You make decisions in life and in your career that you feel are the best decisions for you and your family. That is certainly what happened then,” McDaniels said Monday. “You move forward and do everything you can in your power to make those decisions the right ones. I certainly have no regrets with what has transpired since then.”

McDaniels has said that he would like to be a head coach again in the future, but for now he’s happy as Belichick’s right-hand man.

“I have learned a lot being here. This is a great place to be. I learn from Bill daily, weekly from his guidance and he really challenges me to get better every year,” he said of his relationship with Belichick. “I’m very fortunate to be where I’m at and I’m looking forward to this week.”

Of course, with the success the team is having this season, McDaniels’ name is expected to be a hot one when head coaching opportunities open up for 2022. Last week, Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer wrote that McDaniels could be considered for the Chicago Bears head coaching job should the team fire Matt Nagy at the end of the season.

But for now, McDaniels is happy to be in New England with Belichick, Jones and the Patriots, instead of preparing to face his old squad with the Colts.

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Tune in to Saturday night’s Patriots-Colts game on WBZ-TV! Coverage begins at 8pm, and after the game stay tuned for full reaction and analysis on Patriots 5th Quarter!

CBSBoston.com Staff