In the week following an early playoff exit for the New England Patriots, offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels was set to interview with a trio of franchises for a head coaching position.
But before he could even meet with the first two teams, the New York Giants and the Carolina Panthers, they had filled their coaching positions in a quick manner. While McDaniels is still set to interview with the Cleveland Browns and has a strong chance at being named the head coach there in a matter of days, there was apparently interest elsewhere.
According to Mike Giardi of the NFL Network, McDaniels was extremely interested in interviewing for the vacant coaching position with Carolina but was unable to secure an audience with the team before they hired Matt Rhule from Baylor.
But according to further reports, McDaniels’ agent Trace Armstrong, who also represents Matt Rhule, was setting up a deal for his other client.
Armstrong, who enjoyed a lengthy NFL career as a defensive end for Chicago, Miami, and Oakland, is also an agent for several other high-profile coaches including Mike McCarthy, Les Miles, and Marty Schottenheimer.
It’s undoubtedly a bad look for Armstrong but also for the Panthers who never got a chance to see how McDaniels may impact the organization.
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Blessing in Disguise?
McDaniels, who is originally from Ohio, is also extremely interested in the Browns job. And according to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, McDaniels’ wife Laura accompanied him on his trip to Cleveland for his interview.
McDaniels reportedly wanted the open coaching position in Cleveland for the start of the 2019 season but that role was filled with the inexperienced Freddie Kitchens. Rapoport also explained that McDaniels has wanted the Browns job since he was a kid growing up just outside the city.
McDaniels has said he wants to lead a total makeover for the Browns franchise that could include parting ways with several key players brought in over the past few seasons. This will be the second time he has interviewed with Cleveland, having done so in 2014 as well.
Did Belichick Play a Role?
As the highest-paid and most valuable assistant coach in the NFL, the Patriots undeniably would like McDaniels to stick around. Though there’s the thought New England is grooming him to take over for Bill Belichick once the legendary coach retires, that is far from why McDaniels has stuck around.
But perhaps Belichick did play a small role in McDaniels not getting the jobs in New York and Carolina. According to Tom E. Curran of NBC Sports Boston, the “Patriots asking McDaniels to hold off interviewing until Tuesday so he could button up end-of-season write-ups undeniably cost him a shot at pitching himself.”
By the end of the day on Tuesday, both positions in New York and Carolina were filled before McDaniels had a chance to interview.