Browns reportedly considering Josh McDaniels for head coach vacancy

Just a day after the Browns fired Freddie Kitchens, it appears they are heavily considering the Patriots’ Josh McDaniels for their open head coach job.

Earlier this month, we speculated that a number of New England Patriots coaches, staffers, and players could be headed elsewhere come 2020.

It turns out that those preliminary rumblings and whispers may have been very accurate after all.

According to ESPN’s Jake Trotter, the Cleveland Browns have already requested permission to interview Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels for their head coach vacancy. Trotter cites his colleague and fellow insider Adam Schefter with the report, who in turn cites sources of his own for the information.

The Carolina Panthers and New York Giants have also reportedly requested permission to interview McDaniels.

The Browns fired first-year head coach Freddie Kitchens on Sunday after Cleveland finished with just a 6-10 record this season. The Browns were one of the trendiest picks during the offseason to make some noise this year and challenge the Patriots for their berth in the Super Bowl out of the AFC.

As it turned out, Cleveland couldn’t even win their own division. The Browns finished third behind the Baltimore Ravens and the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Cleveland is also expected to interview Ravens offensive coordinator Greg Roman during the upcoming offseason.

Carolina fired Ron Rivera earlier this month. Rivera is expected to be the front-runner for the vacant Washington Redskins job. New York fired Pat Schurmur on Monday.

McDaniels supposedly requested an interview with Cleveland last year for their vacant head coach position but didn’t get it. The Browns are still one of the most talented teams in the league, and it is believed that McDaniels would love the opportunity to coach and work with several star players, particularly on offense.

Odell Beckham Jr., Jarvis Landry, Nick Chubb, and Baker Mayfield represent a fearsome foursome at the offensive skill positions. The Browns also have a young and ascendant defense as well, led by Myles Garrett.

McDaniels previously was the head coach of the Denver Broncos from 2009-2010 before he returned to the Patriots to resume his role as offensive coordinator back in 2012. He held a number of coaching and staffing roles with New England from 2001 to 2005 until his first stint as the Patriots’ offensive coordinator occurred from 2005-2008.

He was all set to be announced as the new head coach of the Indianapolis Colts in February of 2018 before having a late change of heart.

McDaniels’ withdrawal from the position led Indy to hire Frank Reich instead, and many around the league wondered openly whether McDaniels may have burned too many bridges by backing out from his contract at the last minute.

Maybe he didn’t burn all his bridges after all, since he appears to be one of the hottest commodities on the open market once again in terms of potential head coaches.

If McDaniels does end up leaving the Patriots, it will be a major blow to the New England offense in 2020 and beyond. His departure could also significantly alter the futures of several other prominent Patriots who he is linked to, including but not limited to offensive line coach Dante Scanecchia and quarterback Tom Brady.