After reports emerged that Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels withdrew his name from consideration for the Browns head-coaching job, we surmised via Twitter that it would be a great way to save face if he knew he wasn’t getting the job.
We apparently surmised correctly. For a change.
Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that McDaniels withdrew his name after the Browns told McDaniels has wasn’t the frontrunner.
Ever since the Browns fired coach Rob Chudzinski following only one year on the job, some league insiders theorized that the Browns wouldn’t have dumped Chud after a single season without knowing who they wanted — and without knowing that they could get him. Conventional wisdom pointed to McDaniels being the guy who had been lined up on a wink-nod-fart basis.
If so, it could be that McDaniels was simply the safety net, with the Browns comfortable hiring him but using the ongoing search as a way to find someone even better.
If Cabot’s report is accurate, it’s possible that McDaniels previously had been led to believe by someone with the Browns that McDaniels was “the guy,” that he got nervous as more and more names emerged as potential candidates, and that he decided to seek assurances. When the assurances didn’t come, McDaniels opted (as many in his position would have) to opt out.
And so the Browns will continue their search. If they ultimately don’t find someone better than McDaniels, nothing stops them from trying to hire him.
After all, the Eagles hired Chip Kelly last year after he supposedly withdrew his name from consideration.