CBS Sports – Less than one year after spurning the Colts, it doesn’t appear that Josh McDaniels is going to have any issues finding a head coaching job this offseason if he wants one.
The Patriots offensive coordinator is expected to land multiple interviews over the next few weeks and it looks like one of those will be going down in Green Bay. According to NFL.com, the Packers are expected to hold an interview with McDaniels on Friday. Since the Patriots have a bye this week, McDaniels is allowed to interview for open jobs this weekend. The Packers moved quickly to land an interview with McDaniels with the team sending in a formal request to interview him just one day after the NFL regular season ended.
Despite all the dirt thrown on his name after backing out of the Colts job, Josh McDaniels is still very much in on several head coaching job openings this offseason.
And I love it.
This may be the height of my “Patriots against the world” complex, but hey thats what happens when everyone calls you a cheater and openly roots for your demise for over a decade. Thats also what makes winning so much sweeter though. So yes, rooting for Josh McDaniels to get a head coaching job primarily out of spite against anyone that talked ill of a Patriots employee is petty, bizarre even; I fully admit that. Doesn’t change the facts though.
“Besides the Packers, the Browns and Bengals have also requested to interview McDaniels. CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora reported on Dec. 30 that the Browns owner Jimmy Haslam is “very high” on McDaniels, which could make Cleveland a wild-card in the sweepstakes for the Patriots offensive coordinator.”
This comes less than a year after talking heads around the interwebs all but buried the guy under Gillette Stadium. The simple fact of the matter though is who would you rather have? There are a TON of head coaching vacancies this offseason and not nearly enough competent names to fill them. Eight to be exact. Yup, the Browns, Packers, Jets, Broncos, Dolphins, Bucs, Bengals, and Cardinals are all in the market for a new head coach.
Now as always, this comes with the disclaimer that Josh McDaniels has worked under potentially the greatest head coach of all time along with the greatest quarterback of all time for years. Lets be honest, I could be Tom Brady’s offensive coordinator and the Pats would probably still win the division. So aside from a brief stint with the Broncos (11-17), it’s hard to really peg McDaniels’ true value.
But thats also what makes him such an intriguing candidate.
If I’m the owner of an NFL franchise do I want someone from the Belichick Coaching Tree (more on this in a moment) that is young, innovative, and has worked with the best in the business for the past 10+ years? Or do I want to hire a guy thats already been a head coach for a long time and has already proven multiple times that he’s not a difference maker? Would you rather hire Josh McDaniels or Jeff Fisher?
Granted the Belichick Coaching Tree hasn’t exactly flourished when Bill’s assistants have gone on to set up their own programs, but this is a quarterback driven league. A lot of these coaches simply haven’t had “the guy.”
Romeo Crennel (28-55) had Trent Dilfer, Charlie Frye, Derek Anderson, Brady Quinn, Matt Cassel, and Brady Quinn again at quarterback over the years before being axed for the final time. Eric Mangini (33-47) had Chad Pennington, 39-year-old Brett Favre, Brady Quinn (again!), and Colt McCoy at QB before he got axed for the final time. Charlie Weis (41-49) went over to the NCAA, which is an entirely different animal and failed at multiple schools. More recently we’ve seen Bill O’Brien (42-38) have moderate success in Houston, relatively speaking. Sure, he was rumored to be on the hot seat this year, but they’ve made the playoffs 3 out of the last 4 years. Before Deshaun Watson, O’Brien had Ryan Fitzpatrick, Brian Hoyer, Ryan Mallett, Brock Osweiller (which was his own fault), and Tom Savage. So now that he has an actual QB in Watson you see what that team is capable of. Not a lot of Pro Bowl quarterbacks in there guys. Then theres Matt Patricia (6-10), who’s first season in Detroit can be described as nothing but disastrous.
So 1 out of 5 ain’t good, but hey I’d rather take a chance on a young guy with a great pedigree than hire a guy that I KNOW will have my team going 8-8 every year.
Here are some of the other candidates with previous head coaching experience just to name a few.
- Mike McCarthy (125-77-2, 10-8 in the playoffs)
- Adam Gase (23-25, 0-1 in the playoffs)
- Todd Bowles (26-41)
- Bruce Arians (49-30, 1-2 in the playoffs)
- Vance Joseph (11-21)
- Jim Caldwell (62-50, 2-4 in the playoffs)
Do ANY of those candidates excite you if you’re a fan of one of those teams that has an opening at HC? Maybe Bruce Arians, but he retired after the 2017 season and would be the 3rd oldest coach in the NFL, were he to come back, behind only Belichick and Pete Carroll. I’m looking for someone at least *a little* bit different if I’m an owner. Hell I’d take a shot on
Lincoln Riley (Riley legit just signed an extension with Oklahoma yesterday) or Kliff Kingsbury over any of those guys. Am I biased because I’m 29 and I want to see more young blood in the league? Yea, probably. But these teams that are mired in mediocrity year after year, make the same dumb decisions every season and wonder why they never go anywhere. Hell it took the Bengals 16 years to get out of their own way before finally firing Marvin Lewis and his 0-7 playoff record. (Although they might step right back into their own way and hire Hue Jackson)
So yea McDaniels is kind of a dick for leaving the Colts at the altar last offseason (and hosing a few assistants in the process). I can understand why you wouldn’t want to grab a beer with the guy. But this is the NFL where the only thing that matters are results and Josh McDaniels has 5 Super Bowl rings working with the Patriots in various roles. And before you say it’s all because of the head coach and the QB, whether thats true or not, the Offensive Coordinator of the Kansas City Chiefs, Eric Bieniemy is rumored to be a hot head coaching candidate despite this being his FIRST year as an OC. Why? Because of what the head coach and the QB have been able to do this season. This comes less than a year after Bieniemy’s predecessor Matt Nagy was hired by the Chicago Bears as their new head coach who also had just one year as an OC on his resume. So you can’t have it both ways folks — the OC matters or he doesn’t.
TLDR; I think Josh McDaniels is as good as gone this offseason and I’d take McDaniels over a ton of other guys in this league as a head coach. Now, Bill Belichick isn’t one of them though so if it’s between him and McDaniels? Best of luck, Josh!