Josh McDaniels had a change of heart after withdrawing his name from the Cleveland Browns’ head-coaching search.
McDaniels called the Browns “within 24 hours” of pulling his name to say he was still interested in the job, sources told Cleveland.com. The New England Patriots’ offensive coordinator was in the running for the job until the very end, when former Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator Mike Pettine was hired.
McDaniels even had Patriots head coach Bill Belichick’s backing. Belichick gave McDaniels his “support and recommendation right up until the 11th hour,” according to Cleveland.com.
Browns owner Jimmy Haslam and former general manager Michael Lombardi wanted McDaniels for the job, but CEO Joe Banner “had his reservations.” Lombardi and Banner were fired by Haslam on Tuesday.
McDaniels initially pulled his name from the search because he felt he wasn’t the front-runner, which “didn’t sit well with some candidates or potential candidates.”
Lombardi is expected to take a job in the Patriots’ front office. He was a consultant with the Patriots before being hired by the Browns in January 2013.
10:35 a.m. UPDATE: McDaniels was the Browns’ “safety-net candidate,” according to Pro Football Talk, which reported that only Lombardi wanted to hire the former Denver Broncos head coach.