Josh McDaniels’ first taste of head coaching in the NFL went terribly, as the now-Patriots offensive coordinator was fired by the Broncos in 2010 after just 28 games with Denver.
McDaniels then infamously left the Colts at the altar in 2018, changing course and returning to New England despite having already been announced as Indianapolis’ new head coach.
As such, it would be understandable if NFL organizations were hesitant to give him another chance. But NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport doesn’t believe the Colts debacle is the reason McDaniels has yet to receive any formal interview requests following the 2021 regular season.
“I don’t know that it’s that, as much as it has to be perfect,” Rapoport explained Thursday on WEEI’s “Gresh & Keefe.” “First of all, with him, people are not going to request him unless they know he’s going to take the interview and is very, very interested in the job.”
In other words, McDaniels seemingly still is among the top head-coaching candidates. He’s unlikely to accept just any interview, though, and his job security with the Patriots allows him to be selective.
McDaniels has made it clear in the past he’s interested in someday becoming a head coach again. He interviewed with the Green Bay Packers in 2019, the Cleveland Browns in 2020 and the Philadelphia Eagles in 2021.
There currently are eight head-coaching vacancies across the NFL: the Broncos, Las Vegas Raiders, Jacksonville Jaguars, Houston Texans, Miami Dolphins, Minnesota Vikings, Chicago Bears and New York Giants.
“Brian Callahan, the offensive coordinator for the Bengals — good young coach, very well respected, will probably take any interview he gets,” Rapoport added. “Josh McDaniels is obviously not like that, so I think his lack of requests is probably as much due to anything as much as you’re only going to request him if you’re basically going to hire him. Otherwise, you’re not going to go all the way down the road. I think for him, the process is different from basically every other candidate.”
It’s long been speculated that McDaniels someday might be the heir apparent to Bill Belichick in New England. While that might be an ideal situation for McDaniels, 45, given his familiarity with the franchise, Belichick hasn’t given any indication about how much longer he intends to coach.