As of Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019 at 11:30 a.m. ET, Josh McDaniels plans to stay with the New England Patriots as offensive coordinator. Of course, as we learned last year, things can change with McDaniels in a hurry.
McDaniels said Tuesday “the book is closed” on head-coaching interviews, and now he’s concentrated on the Patriots’ upcoming divisional-round matchup against the Los Angeles Chargers.
“I’m completely focused on the Chargers and our season and finishing it strong,” McDaniels said. “I’ll be here moving forward.”
McDaniels reportedly was interested in becoming the Cleveland Browns’ next head coach, but he said Tuesday he’s had no contact with that organization.
The Browns have interviewed 2018 interim head coach Gregg Williams, their offensive coordinator Freddie Kitchens, former Detroit Lions and Indianapolis Colts head coach Jim Caldwell, Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski, New Orleans Saints assistant head coach/tight ends coach Dan Campbell, Patriots linebackers coach Brian Flores and Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus for the position but haven’t made a hire yet.
McDaniels famously bailed on the Colts after being named head coach last offseason. He only received two interview requests this offseason from the Green Bay Packers and Cincinnati Bengals. He interviewed with the Packers, who ultimately hired former Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur. He turned down the interview with the Bengals. McDaniels was asked if he believes spurning the Colts played any role in the lack of interview requests.
“I have no idea,” McDaniels said. “You’d have to obviously ask them if that had anything to do with that.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity I had, but obviously more importantly grateful for the opportunity I have here. I’ve said before I think I have one of the best jobs in the world. I’m grateful for the opportunity to continue competing this week against the Chargers.”
So, for now, McDaniels says he’s staying with the Patriots. But the longer that Browns job remains open, the more speculation will build that Cleveland still could schedule a last-minute interview with the Patriots’ offensive coordinator. And if that occurs, would McDaniels stick to his word and remain with the Patriots? He proved last season he’s not afraid to change his mind despite the optics.
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