For the second straight year, Josh McDaniels came up empty in his quest to be an NFL head coach once again.
While the decision wasn’t all-out surprising, it has to be a little bit discouraging for McDaniels considering he entered the offseason with a lot of interest. The Carolina Panthers and New York Giants had initially set up interviews with the 43-year-old offensive coordinator before backing out due to making early head coaching hires.
As far as why the Browns decided to pass on the hometown McDaniels — despite his resume and his proven track record — that reason was revealed by Steve Doerschuk of The Canton Repository.
According to Doerschuk, McDaniels “wouldn’t back down” and his presentation of sweeping changes through the organization didn’t win over Browns owner Jimmy Haslam.
“McDaniels arrived Friday, smartly dressed, Fitbit trim and in a better mindset than ever to address a crowd of important strangers with respect but conviction. He appreciated all the amenities of an interview (the Browns are regarded as gracious hosts) but focused on a few cold, hard questions.
Would they take to him as a person and as a leader? There had been a sense he and DePodesta would get to know each other quickly and be kindred spirits. This is thought to have become the case.
Would the Browns show a willingness to applaud his detailed presentation on the sweeping makeover that would be needed for him to want the job? This is where the trouble with his candidacy came to a head.The Browns were as detailed with him as to the parts of their system they want to keep, or expand, as he was with them as to necessary changes.
In the end, both came to a similar conclusion: It wasn’t a great fit.”
Browns and McDaniels Agreed They Weren’t Good Fit
According to Doerschuk’s report, Stefanski showed a willingness to work with the Browns’ coaching, analytics and ways of thinking that were very similar to that of Haslam and chief strategy officer Paul DePodesta.
In other words, despite the Browns’ lack of success during Haslam’s reign — he bought the team in 2012 and they’ve gone 33-94-1 (.257 winning percentage) since — Cleveland has some ideas that they think can work. Basically, they didn’t want a total philosophical change with their new head coaching hire.
By hiring Stefanski, the Browns can stick with Haslam and DePodesta’s strategy.
If they had hired McDaniels, they would have agreed to a change in how to approach things — something that they were not willing to do.
Josh McDaniels’ Return to Patriots Beneficial For Tom Brady?
McDaniels will return for his ninth consecutive season as the Patriots’ offensive coordinator — and his 17th overall in the organization.
“But bringing McDaniels back certainly helps matters. It means the Patriots will still keep the same offensive system and terminology that Brady has used for his entire 20-year career. And it means that Brady’s trusted confidant will be back in the organization for another year.
Belichick certainly isn’t the easiest coach to play for, and he and Brady have had their differences over the past few years. McDaniels has been a valuable buffer between Brady and Belichick — someone that Brady can confide in, or air out his grievances with.”
Brady indicated in a recent interview that he had to reach a concrete decision regarding a return next season.
McDaniels’ return to New England is at least a positive argument for why Brady should come back for a 21st season with the Patriots.