After weeks of speculation, the news officially came from the Browns Sunday night.
Head coach Freddie Kitchens had been fired.
Now, new speculation begins about who will replace Kitchens.
Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels has been frequently mentioned as a top candidate for the job.
He was also the first interview requested from the Browns following the firing of Kitchens.
Before Browns fans, (or the Haslams’ for that matter), get too involved with McDaniels, it is wise to be cautious.
McDaniels has been a great coordinator for the Patriots, but his history as a head coach has been spotty.
In fact, one should look closely at the history of Belichick assistants who have become NFL head coaches.
After closer inspection, the Browns may want to proceed with caution for a head coach from this tree.
Josh McDaniels (11-17, Denver Broncos, 2009-2010)
Josh McDaniels served (and continues to serve) under Belichick as a Patriots defensive and offensive assistant, and offensive coordinator.
After showcasing his talents as offensive coordinator with the Pats from 2006-2008, McDaniels was a hot coaching prospect.
He was hired by the Broncos in 2009, replacing Mike Shanahan.
After a strong start to the season, the Broncos completed 2009 with an 8-8 record.
During the 2010 season, McDaniels found himself in hot water over his own videotaping scandal.
A Broncos staff member was observed taping a San Francisco 49ers practice shortly before the teams played each other.
McDaniels was not initially aware of the incident.
However, the NFL fined him for not reporting the incident immediately after he found out.
The Broncos failed to live up to expectations yet again in 2010.
McDaniels had pushed to draft Tim Tebow in the offseason and Tebow did not live up to expectations.
When the team began the season 3-9, McDaniels was fired by the Broncos.
DJ Williams talks about why McDaniels failed in Denver
After making his way back to the Patriots as an assistant, McDaniels had another opportunity to be a head coach.
Shortly into the 2018 offseason, the Indianapolis Colts announced that they had hired McDaniels to be their head coach.
24 hours later the Colts reversed course.
The team announced that McDaniels would not be their head coach as he decided to stay in New England.
Colts released a statement. They’re “surprised and disappointed” by McDaniels’ decision.
Also: “The scheduled press conference at Lucas Oil Stadium will not take place tomorrow.” pic.twitter.com/D1ZKGS1VWr
— Phil Perry (@PhilAPerry) February 7, 2018
Romeo Crennel (24-40, Cleveland Browns, 2005-2008; 4-12, Kansas City Chiefs, 2011-2012)
This name should sound familiar to Browns fans.
Romeo Crennel was the Patriots’ defensive coordinator under Belichick from 2001-2004.
Crennel went 6-10 and 4-12 in his first two seasons with the Browns.
The team made a push to the playoffs in 2007 with a 10-6 record.
However, they fell short of making the postseason, a streak that continues today.
High expectations coming into the 2008 season were upended when the Browns finished the year 4-12.
The Browns promptly fired Crennel after the 2008 season.
Crennel also served as interim head coach for the Chiefs in 2011 and head coach in 2012.
He was fired after the 2012 season with a 4-12 overall record.
Super Bowls won by Romeo Crennel, Charlie Weis, Eric Mangini, Josh McDaniels and Matt Patricia with Bill Belichick: 22
Super Bowls won without Bill Belichick: 0
— Tom Moore (@Tom_RedRight88) December 30, 2019
Eric Mangini (23-25, New York Jets, 2006-2008; 10-22, Cleveland Browns, 2009-2010)
Another name that should be familiar to Browns fans.
Mangini was a defensive assistant under Belichick with the Browns and Patriots.
In 2006 Mangini, then only 35, became the Jets head coach.
The team went 10-6 and to the playoffs in his first season.
The Jets took a step back in 2007 with a 4-12 record.
It was during this season that Mangini called out Belichick and the Patriots for filming the Jets defensive signals.
The subsequent investigation by the NFL was termed “Spygate” by the press.
In 2008, the Jets suffered a late-season collapse and Mangini was fired after the season.
Mangini was not unemployed long as the Browns hired him shortly after the Jets dismissed him.
Almost immediately after being hired, Mangini was highly criticized by many Browns players.
A number of the Browns called Mangini out for micromanaging the team as well as abusive behavior.
The Browns went 5-11 in both the 2009 and 2010 seasons.
Mangini was fired shortly after the 2010 season.
When the Browns fired Eric Mangini, the players were so thrilled they threw a party. Let’s just say it got out of hand. 🍺🎉@joethomas73 tells the story on an all-new ThomaHawk Show!
— ThomaHawk (@ThomaHawkShow) December 31, 2019
Matt Patricia (9-22-1, Detroit Lions, 2018-current)
Patricia served as a coaching assistant under Belichick in New England from 2004-2017.
After displaying his coaching skills as a defensive coordinator for the Pats for six seasons, Patricia was highly sought after.
Patricia briefly flirted with the idea of coaching the Browns in 2016 but elected to remain with Belichick.
However, after the 2018 season, the Lions hired him as their new head coach.
Since being hired, Patricia has been less than inspiring as head man for Detroit.
The team finished 2018 with a 6-10 record and just completed 2019 at 3-12-1.
Currently, Patricia remains the Lions head coach, though for how long is another matter.
FINAL 2019 UPDATE:
Jim Caldwell’s last 16 games: 9 wins, 7 losses.
Matt Patricia’s first 32 games: 9 wins, 22 losses, 1 tie.
Result: STILL EMPLOYED#SameOldLions pic.twitter.com/Wg01PZIinf
— Brian Chapman (@bchapsports) December 29, 2019
Brian Flores (5-11, Miami Dolphins, 2019-current)
(Jury Is Still Out)
After serving as a Patriots assistant from 2008-2018, Flores was hired by Miami after the 2018 season.
The Dolphins upset the Patriots and Belichick in the last week of the 2019 season.
The win was Miami’s fifth of the year which still put them in last place in the AFC East.
Needless to say, the jury is still out on Flores.
When it comes to Belichick assistants who have become NFL head coaches, the results speak for themselves.
The Browns should proceed with caution if pursuing McDaniels.