Swing and a miss.
The Cleveland Browns interviewed former Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy last Thursday as their first candidate to replace Freddie Kitchens.
Two days later, McCarthy flew down to Dallas, stayed the night with owner Jerry Jones, and accepted the offer to become the Cowboys next coach.
With McCarthy off the board, it seems that the Browns are now likely to offer New England Patriots’ offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels the job.
REPORT: Sources telling us that Mike McCarthy was quick to jump on the Cowboys job because he was given strong indications that Josh McDaniels was inevitably going to be offered the Browns HC Job.
Expect McDaniels to be offered the job in the coming days.
— CSPN (@CSPNetwork) January 6, 2020
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport recently reported that McDaniels was the favorite for the head coaching job in Cleveland and Carolina.
The Tennessee Titans eliminated the Patriots on Saturday by a score of 20-13.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 4, 2020
McDaniels is expected to be interviewed this week by several teams.
From @NFLGameDay: Could #Patriots OC Josh McDaniels be coaching his last game in New England? Once again, he’s emerged as a top HC candidate — notably for the #Browns and #Panthers. pic.twitter.com/M1dFWvdWI1
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 4, 2020
Compared to the rest, should the Browns rush into a marriage with McDaniels?
Reasons To Hire McDaniels
McDaniels has won six Super Bowl titles as a coordinator for the Patriots.
He has consistently put together one of the league’s best offenses.
Since 2012, the Patriots have finished top five in the league in passing yards per game and have led the league in total offense twice.
In comparison to the other candidates the Browns have interviewed, McDaniels is the superior hire with an exception to one person (more on that later).
The Bills finished the 2019 regular season 24th in total yards per game and 30th in 2018.
Plus, his play calling can be questionable considering how the Bills looked in their 22-19 loss to the Texans on Saturday.
In the last eight games of the regular season, Frank Gore had 71 carries for 177 yards, a 2.5 average. Then the Bills gave him 8 carries and Devin Singletary, who averages twice that, only 13 in the playoff game. I wonder if the Browns will ask Brian Daboll to explain why.
— Jerry Sullivan (@ByJerrySullivan) January 6, 2020
As for Saleh, the 49ers finished 2nd in the league in yards allowed per game but how many times have we seen this show?
An excellent defensive coordinator gets the nod to be a head coach and the team does not produce.
Take a look at Matt Patricia (Lions) and Vic Fangio (Broncos).
The two have a combined record of 10-22-1 from last season.
Hiring offensive-minded coaches have seemed to work and McDaniels has been flirting with a head coaching gig for years now.
Don’t believe us?
Look at what Matt Nagy, Matt LaFleur, and Sean McVay have done the last couple of years.
McDaniels should be the next in line.
Reasons To Hold Off On McDaniels
Two words: Kevin Stefanski.
The Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator helped produce one of the best seasons from quarterback Kirk Cousins.
With the Vikings defeating the Saints 26-20 on Sunday, his stock has suddenly spiked as well.
Remaining HC openings throughout the NFL include the Giants, Panthers, and Browns. Favorites right now for those positions are as follows:
NYG – Matt Rhule
CAR – Eric Bieniemy
CLE – Kevin Stefanski/Josh McDaniels
— Pro Football Network (@PFN365) January 6, 2020
Stefanski has enjoyed great success this past season with the help of former Denver Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak.
In his first season with Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins, Stefanski helped lead Cousins to a career-high in passer rating (107.4).
Cousins was fourth in the league in passer rating, as well as eighth in touchdowns (26),
It was also the least amount of interceptions in a season (6) since 2012 for Cousins.
When Stefanski was in the running last year, he was interviewed by a panel that included Chief Strategy Officer Paul DePodesta, who leads the coaching search this year.
It was reported that Stefanski was the first choice of DePodesta to become the Browns head coach before John Dorsey opted to hire Freddie Kitchens instead.
On paper, the Browns have a juggernaut of an offense in the works.
The Browns have the former Offensive Rookie of the Year (Baker Mayfield), the league’s second-leading rusher (Nick Chubb), former league-leading rusher Kareem Hunt, and two 1,000-yard receivers (Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry).
Despite all this talent on paper, the Browns finished 22nd in the league in scoring offense and total yards per game.
The lead has to go to McDaniels at this point.
It was reported that owner Jimmy Haslam wants the new coach to have experience.
— Nate Ulrich (@ByNateUlrich) January 3, 2020
McDaniels has more experience than Stefanski and just an overall better resume.
If the Browns want to move fast on McDaniels, it appears that the job is his to take.