The Cleveland Browns aren’t wasting much time lining up new coaching prospects.
The morning after firing Freddie Kitchens after just one rocky, disappointing season, the Browns have reportedly requested permission to interview New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels.
Trying again with McDaniels
ESPN’s Adam Schefter was first to report that the Browns want to talk to McDaniels. Or more accurately, talk again: Cleveland targeted McDaniels in 2014, but McDaniels backed out late in the process, saying he wasn’t ready to leave the Patriots.
The Browns ended up hiring Mike Pettine, who lasted two seasons.
Longtime Browns beat reporter Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com, citing a source, reported on Monday morning that McDaniels would be ready now and that the job in Cleveland is attractive to him. McDaniels is believed to be a fan of quarterback Baker Mayfield.
But with the Patriots playing on wild-card weekend, Cleveland owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam would have to wait until New England’s season is done before conducting a formal interview.
Cabot reported that the Browns are also expected to interview former Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy, while Schefter reported that the Carolina Panthers are also interested in McDaniels.
McDaniels, now 43, is a native of Canton, Ohio, and played at Division III John Carroll University near Cleveland.
But there could be one significant hitch when it comes to McDaniels and the Browns: Cabot writes that sources question whether he’d want to work with general manager John Dorsey, so the situation “bears watching.” She added that there’s a disconnect between Dorsey and Paul DePodesta, who handles the analytics side for Cleveland.
In a similar vein, Schefter tweeted that the eventual head coach of both the Browns and New York Giants “is expected to have input on whether general managers there stay or go.”
McDaniels’ first stint as a head coach did not go well: hired by the Denver Broncos in 2009, the team was 6-0 in his first six games but finished that season 8-8; the next year, he was fired after the 12th game of the season.
In 2018, McDaniels agreed to be the Indianapolis Colts’ new head coach — the team scheduled his introductory news conference — and then backed out.
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