Two New England Patriots assistants are in the running for the head-coaching vacancy in Philadelphia.
After interviewing Patriots inside linebackers coach Jerod Mayo earlier this week, the Eagles plan to do the same with longtime New England offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, according to a report Saturday from The Athletic’s Bo Wulf and Zac Jackson.
McDaniels interview is expected to take place Sunday, per a report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
McDaniels has received head-coaching interest every year since 2013, but this will be his first interview of this hiring cycle. The Jacksonville Jaguars (Urban Meyer), New York Jets (Robert Saleh) and Atlanta Falcons (Arthur Smith) all hired new head coaches without requesting to interview McDaniels, and he reportedly is not a candidate for the Houston Texans’ vacancy, either.
The Patriots’ McDaniels-designed offense nosedived in its first season without Tom Brady, ranking 27th in both points per game and yards per game this season. New quarterback Cam Newton struggled to master McDaniels’ complex system, which, coupled with New England’s lack of pass-catching talent and Newton’s own inconsistency, resulted in the Patriots fielding one of the NFL’s worst passing attacks.
The Eagles, who fired head coach Doug Pederson following a 4-11-1 season, are dealing with their own offensive issues, as benched starting QB Carson Wentz is set to carry a $34.7 million salary cap hit — and a nearly unmovable contract — into 2021.
McDaniels said last month he “absolutely” wants to be a head coach again. The 44-year-old coached the Denver Broncos for 1 1/2 seasons from 2009 to 2010 and has interviewed for numerous head-coaching jobs in the years since, including the Indianapolis Colts in 2018 (which he initially accepted before controversially opting to remain in New England), the Green Bay Packers in 2019 and the Cleveland Browns in 2020.
With quarterbacks coach Jedd Fisch leaving for the University of Arizona, the Patriots would not have an obvious internal replacement for McDaniels if the offensive coordinator departs this offseason.
Wulf and Jackson wrote that McDaniels “would be considered a controversial hire in Philadelphia, given the local disdain for the Patriots and (Eagles woner Jeffrey) Lurieâs New England connections.” Lurie is a Boston native. His Eagles defeated the Patriots in Super Bowl LII.