The Cleveland Browns are deep into the interview process as they search for their new head coach, but there’s a sentiment from one top NFL insiders that the favorite for the job hasn’t interviewed yet.
Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels has been labeled a top candidate for the Browns, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. McDaniels hasn’t interviewed with the Browns yet because he’s still employed by the New England Patriots, who play the Titans in the Wild Card round on Saturday.
If the Patriots do lose, it’s been speculated that it could be McDaniels’ last game with New England as he eyes a head coaching gig.
McDaniels has an 11-17 record as a head coach, spending just under two seasons with the Denver Broncos from 2009-10. He has spent the majority of his career in the NFL as the offensive coordinator for the Patriots.
Josh McDaniels Backed out of Head Coaching Job With Colts
McDaniels was in line for another head coaching opportunity but backed out of the Indianapolis Colts job during the 2018 offseason. He explained that somewhat mysterious decision a little more in-depth.
“Those things are not easy decisions to make,” McDaniels said, via the Providence Journal. “I’m sure a lot of us have had to make decisions of what we feel like is best for ourselves, our career, our families. I’m thankful to be here. This has been a great place for me. It’s really benefited me and my family.
“You know, there’s a lot that goes into those things. It can be very complicated,” McDaniels aded. “I’ll say this, I’ve stated again and again that I definitely want to be a head coach again.”
McDaniels — an Ohio native — is also considered a favorite to land the Panthers job. Carolina let go of long-time head coach Ron Rivera before the end of the season and are under the direction of new owner David Tepper.
Browns Doing Extensive Interviews to ‘Get it Right’
The Browns have not been a model of stability, filtering through head coaches and general managers at an alarming rate. Former head coach Freddie Kitchens was fired after one 6-10 season and the franchise also mutually parted ways with GM John Dorsey.
“I think patience and continuity are good as long as you think you have the right people in place,” Browns owner Jimmy Haslam said Thursday during a press conference. “We just did not feel like we had the right people in place to move forward like we would like to. Believe me, this kind of change is hard. It is not something we wanted to do. I think I started out by saying it is certainly not something we are proud of, but it is something we are determined to get right this time.”
So far, the Browns have interviewed ex-Packers head coach Mike McCarthy — who former Cleveland All-Pro Joe Thomas called the “leader in the clubhouse” — Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy and Ravens offensive coordinator Greg Roman.
The Browns are set to interview 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh for the head coach vacancy on Saturday.
Chief Strategy Officer Paul DePodesta is leading the Browns’ search process and the committee also includes Dee and Jimmy Haslam, Executive Vice President, and Owner J.W. Johnson and Vice President of Football Administration Chris Cooper.
A general manager will be hired after the head coach in an effort to be more aligned, according to Haslam.