Could the Cleveland Browns be leaning in a different direction from Josh McDaniels?
Although the New England Patriots offensive coordinator was the last coach the Browns interviewed during their coaching search, their latest interest may indicate McDaniels is not the favorite.
While the Browns’ coaching interviews are over, they’re still looking for a new general manager. According to Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com, the Browns have requested permission to interview Philadelphia Eagles Vice President of Football Operations Andrew Berry and Indianapolis Colts assistant general manager Ed Dodds.
Browns Not Interested in McDaniels’ Recommendation
These requested interviews are notable because the Browns are not planning to interview McDaniels’ recommendation. That would be none other than Patriots Pro Personnel Director Dave Ziegler.
Cabot also goes into detail on why interviewing Dodds — who was employed by the Colts when McDaniels backed out of the head coaching job in Indianapolis back in 2018 — could mean that the Browns are leaning towards other head coaching candidates.
“The Browns have requested permission to interview Eagles Vice President of Football Operations Andrew Berry, who has no ties to McDaniels, and Colts assistant GM Ed Dodds, who was on the staff when McDaniels backed out of the Indianapolis head coaching job in 2018. Dodds, one of the most respected talent evaluators in the league, has a strong connection to 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh from their years in Seattle.”
Cabot then notes how the Eagles’ Andrew Berry is obviously associated with Philly defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz — who has also interviewed for the Browns’ head coaching job. She also mentions how Berry could also work well with San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh — yet another candidate for Cleveland’s head coaching gig.
“Berry, whom Jimmy Haslam would love to bring back to Cleveland, also has strong ties to Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, another candidate. The Browns like Schwartz’ head coaching experience, tough-mindedness for this strong-willed group of players, and penchant for analytics.
Berry, who will likely have other GM opportunities this cycle, would also pair well with other candidates such as Saleh, a source said.”
The bad news doesn’t end there for McDaniels as Buffalo Bills assistant GM Joe Schoen is also on Cleveland’s radar. That would go hand-in-hand with the team’s earlier interview with Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll. Daboll also has an extreme championship background, having won five Super Bowl titles with Bill Belichick and one national championship with Nick Saban.
McDaniels Won’t Pull His Name From Browns’ Coaching Search
With all of this said, McDaniels still isn’t giving up hope on the Browns’ head coaching gig. The 43-year-old McDaniels is originally from Ohio, having been born and having attended both high school and college in his native state.
“But McDaniels has no plans to pull his name from the search after interviewing with the Browns for seven hours on Friday, and will see it through to the end, a source told cleveland.com. In 2014, McDaniels withdrew his name after interviewing with the Browns for eight hours to remain with the Patriots.”
Furthermore, because the New York Giants and Carolina Panthers have each hired new head coaches — McDaniels’ other previous possible destinations — the 43-year-old offensive coordinator is now down to just one potential head coaching gig.
McDaniels hasn’t served as a head coach since the 2010 season with the Denver Broncos. He went 11-17 as the head coach in Denver before he was fired midway through the 2010 campaign.
If McDaniels doesn’t land the head coaching gig in Cleveland, it’s safe to assume he’ll remain the Patriots’ offensive coordinator for the 2020 season.