Josh McDaniels’ hometown team is looking to interview him for its head-coaching vacancy.
One day after firing Freddie Kitchens, the Cleveland Browns officially requested permission to interview McDaniels, according to a report Monday morning from ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
The Carolina Panthers are expected to do so as well, per Schefter’s report.
McDaniels, who grew up an hour south of Cleveland in Canton, Ohio, has spent the last eight seasons and 12 of the last 15 as the New England Patriots’ offensive coordinator. He was a hot head-coaching candidate after the 2017 season — famously accepting the Indianapolis Colts job before reversing course and deciding to remain in New England — and interviewed with the Green Bay Packers last January, as well.
McDaniels reportedly was “enthusiastically interested” in interviewing for the Browns job last year but never was contacted by the team. Cleveland promoted Kitchens from offensive coordinator to head coach, then fired him after a 6-10 season.
Despite that poor record, Cleveland remains a potentially desirable destination. Quarterback Baker Mayfield was an NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year candidate in 2018 before regressing this season, Nick Chubb is one of the league’s top running backs, Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry are an elite receiving duo despite Beckham’s underwhelming 2019 campaign and the Browns’ defense has several talented players, including edge rusher Myles Garrett and cornerback Denzel Ward.
It’s unclear when McDaniels would interview with the Browns. Patriots assistants typically complete interviews during the playoff bye week, which the team did not receive this season. After losing to the Miami Dolphins 27-24 at home in Week 17, New England will host the Tennessee Titans this Saturday night in the wild-card round.
The New York Giants also reportedly fired head coach Pat Shurmur on Monday, and the Dallas Cowboys could follow suit with Jason Garrett in the coming hours. There will be no shortage of enticing openings for McDaniels to consider.