The Browns originally had an interview scheduled with New England Patriots OC Josh McDaniels for January 10, and now that interview will take place on that Friday. Now that the Patriots have lost in the playoffs, his interview for the head coaching vacancy had been moved up to Monday January 6 with Cleveland according to a tweet from Michael Lombardi of The Athletic.
Hearing the interview time line for Josh McDaniels has been moved up now starting on Monday with Cleveland, NY and Panthers.— Michael Lombardi (@mlombardiNFL) January 5, 2020
According to Yahoo Sports, McDaniels will interview with the New York Football Giants before his Friday interview with Cleveland.
McDaniels is one of the Browns top candidates to fill the position. The other is Minnesota Vikings OC Kevin Stefanski who defeated the New Orleans Saints on Sunday. Stefanski’s interview is rumored to be upcoming despite the Vikings set to take on the San Francisco 49ers on Saturday.
McDaniels is now available to be hired immediately because the Patriots’ 2019 season is now concluded following Sunday’s 20-13 loss to the Tennessee Titans. The number of head coaching positions open have now dropped to only the Browns and Giants as Dallas, Carolina and Washington have all filled their head coaching vacancies.
Both McDaniels and Stefanski have been on Cleveland’s wish list for at least a year. Stefanski was interviewed twice last year. McDaniels is an Ohio native whose father is a coaching legend within the state. Both are devout Browns’ fans.
Under McDaniels, the Patriots have captured six Super Bowls. He is credited with the success of the offense that features veteran quarterback Tom Brady. Most years, the receiving corp has been mainly non-mainstream players who are blue-collar type players. Many are undrafted, taken in the later rounds of the college draft or signed as free-agents. Despite these traits, McDaniels has prevailed with the talent the club has signed for the skill positions.
McDaniels, age 43, has head coaching experience, although that ended in disaster. He was named the head guy with the Denver Broncos in 2009 which began the year 6-0 only to finish 8-8-0. The following year the bottom fell out as the club went 4-12-0. During those two seasons, the offense was ranked 15th and 13th, respectively. In that final season with Denver, he was fired after a 3-9-0 start.
He was the OC for the St. Louis Rams in 2011 before settling in again with New England for the 2012 season and has held the position ever since. In his first year back with the Patriots, their offense was ranked number one in the league. Their offensive rankings with New England are as follows under his leadership: 2012 Patriots – 1; 2013 - 7; 2014 - 11; 2015 - 6; 2016 - 4; 2017 - 1; 2018 – 5; 2019 – 15.
McDaniels is considered one of the top offensive minds in the NFL and an excellent play-caller. He has 17 years total NFL experience. Twice with the Patriots and with the Rams he had the job title of Quarterback coach which should help Baker Mayfield and any other young quarterbacks the club may draft as his backup.
He is also going to interview with the Carolina Panthers and New York Football Giants during this upcoming week.
In addition to being an Ohio native, the prospect of an offense that features Pro Bowlers Nick Chubb and Jarvis Landry, plus three-time Pro Bowler Odell Beckham, Jr., a young Mayfield, and a talented defensive core with Myles Garrett, Sheldon Richardson, Mack Wilson and Denzel Ward should be appealing to McDaniels especially if the offensive line could bring in a free agent at one of the tackle spots and then add some O-line talent through the draft. Cleveland owns the number 10 spot.
Having been a head coach and then failed may be a plus for McDaniels. For one, he was just 33 years old at the time. For another, he certainly should have learned from his mistakes just like we all have done with faltered relationships and ventures in life.
Take the list of coaches named to the NFL 100 All-Time team. Out of the 10 men selected, half the list had been fired by NFL clubs at one point including Bill Belichick, Tom Landry and Curly Lambeau.
Thirdly, since 2012 when he returned to the Patriots that club has captured eight straight AFC Eastern Division crowns, compiled a 98-30 record, went to the playoffs all eight years, played in the AFC Championship seven times (winning four), and won three of four Super Bowls.
If nothing else, McDaniels would bring a winning culture to the Browns.
One other situation to consider with McDaniels. Since Browns’ owner Jimmy Haslam has stated he is going to hire the head coach first and then the General Manager, it is possible that Patriots’ Director of Pro Personnel Dave Ziegler might be brought over as the new GM. Ziegler, age 41, is described as an attention-to-detail grinder and has hit on many a player’s evaluation. He was born in Tallmadge, Ohio.
Both McDaniels and Ziegler are John Carroll (Ohio) University graduates.