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Conflicting reports emerge on why McDaniels withdrew from Browns job

McDaniels AP

On Wednesday came the news that Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels has withdrawn his name from consideration for the head-coaching job in Cleveland, four days after interviewing for the job.

It’s unusual, to say the least, for a coaching candidate to go through the process of interviewing for a job and then to remove his name only a few days later, before finding out whether he’s even going to get an offer.  For a guy like McDaniels, who presumably will want to be a head coach somewhere at some point, it’s the kind of move that at a minimum will give other owners a bit of hesitation when it comes to including McDaniels in future coaching searches.

So why did McDaniels feel compelled to affirmatively pull him name out of the hat in lieu of letting nature take its course?

In the aftermath of the news that McDaniels said “no” before hearing “yes,” Albert Breer of NFL Network reported that McDaniels opted to create “stability for his family,” because he has four young children and a secure position with the Patriots.

It’s an honorable motivation, but if that’s the case, why interview for the job in the first place?  And if the goal was simply to get more experience interviewing, why pull the plug on the process prematurely?

Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer later reported that McDaniels withdrew after asking the Browns if he’s the top candidate and being told that he’s not.  If true, that’s not a great look for McDaniels, which could make other owners even more skittish about adding him in the future to a game where the supply of candidates far outweighs the eventual demand.

More recently, Adam Schefter of ESPN — who broke the news of McDaniels withdrawing his name — offered additional information about the situation that conflicts sharply with Cabot’s report:  “Browns-McDaniels never started negotiations.  Browns never said he was or wasn’t front runner.  McDaniels never said he was leaning one way.”

Setting aside the possibility that Schefter is merely repeating what he was told as a quid pro quo for the scoop regarding McDaniels withdrawing his name (because that never happens in this business), the new information doesn’t explain why McDaniels would decide to affirmatively remove his name from consideration.

As Saints defensive coordinator Rob Ryan currently is learning, unconventional doesn’t sell.  Owners like guys who don’t make too many waves, and McDaniels on Wednesday did a cannonball into the shallow end of the pool.

Regardless of where it all goes from here, McDaniels can count on any future head-coaching interviews beginning with this question:  “So, Josh, what really happened in Cleveland?”

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27 Responses to “Conflicting reports emerge on why McDaniels withdrew from Browns job”
  1. randyschwimmer7 says: Jan 9, 2014 9:36 AM

    As a lifelong Broncos fan, trust me when I say that you should be extremely happy Browns fans. McDaniels was the worst thing to happen to Denver in a long LONG time. He is extremely arrogant and too immature to handle a franchise. I do think, deep down, that he could become a good head coach in the NFL, but that is not right now, or any time in the near future.

  2. phuriousjorge says: Jan 9, 2014 10:18 AM

    Am I the only one who thinks this guy doesn’t have both his oars in the water?

  3. 80sbroncofan says: Jan 9, 2014 10:33 AM

    Maybe he was told Brandon Weeden would have to remain on the team?

  4. AlaskanSalmon says: Jan 9, 2014 10:41 AM

    Weeden is a good as gone. Hoyer was brought in by Lombardi and banner.

  5. urbusted2 says: Jan 9, 2014 11:04 AM

    I’m a Browns fan and extremely happy McDaniels isn’t getting the job regardless of who withdrew or whatever.

  6. clebrowns216 says: Jan 9, 2014 11:06 AM

    I couldn’t blame anyone for declining the Browns’ HC job right now. Especially since McDaniels is considered to be the heir to the Patriots when Belichick retired.

    That being said I couldn’t be happier that he declined. I REALLY didn’t want him from the beginning, and then started reading comments from Broncos fans and heard nothing but terrible, terrible things.

    I still don’t see a coach out there that we are interviewing that makes me think, “man we needed to fire Chud to get this guy.”

  7. rugbyisbetter says: Jan 9, 2014 11:16 AM

    Well if the Pats win the Super Bowl again, I don’t think owners will be asking too many Browns questions.. Probably more Bronco questions like ‘why did a rift arise so quickly between you and our First Round pick franchise quarterback?’

    While it is interesting to pull your name from something after having had interviewed and not been told your not or are the candidate, he might have done the interview with Banner/Lombardi, and decided no matter what, he does not want to work with them (especially since they hired and fired the last guy in 1 year).

  8. dman40 says: Jan 9, 2014 11:20 AM

    Maybe he just did not want to enter the factory of sadness?

  9. pastabelly says: Jan 9, 2014 12:02 PM

    There is more to this than meets the eye. I also believe the Patriots intervened here and that they don’t want to lose McDaniels. Belichick wants a Belichick guy to be the next HC as Belichick will probably stay on as GM. Robert and Jonathan Kraft also are probably comfortable with McDaniels. He’s only 37 and time is on his side. It may just make more sense for him to stay in Foxboro.

  10. dietrich43 says: Jan 9, 2014 12:20 PM

    Maybe he didnt want to be stuck with Hoyer.

  11. dualprime says: Jan 9, 2014 1:07 PM

    Maybe he likes his current job and wants to stay put. Not a sensational headline but possibly the truth.

  12. mrfrostyj says: Jan 9, 2014 2:23 PM

    Considering Josh McDaniels is a Belichick guy who likes to throw his weight around and Cleveland is now the NFL equivalent of “The Apprentice” with Jimmy Haslam playing the part of Donald Trump I don’t think that would have gone too well anyway. Thow on the bright side the collective sigh of relief from Browns fans is helping to thaw out the east from the winter storms.

  13. mackie66 says: Jan 9, 2014 2:27 PM

    If Mac continues to coach a winner, no owner will care what happened in Cleveland. I mean really? Mac took his name out of consideration,,,BFD.

  14. cranespy says: Jan 9, 2014 4:56 PM

    Sounds like he was given some type of signal that he IS indeed the heir apparent to BB.

  15. admiralkit says: Jan 9, 2014 4:57 PM

    Any time Mary Kay Cabot “breaks news,” you should assume that there’s an 80% chance of it being completely wrong. She is a terrible reporter who bites on all kinds of terrible rumors and is constantly trying to gin up controversy where there isn’t any.

  16. anonymous135 says: Jan 9, 2014 5:05 PM

    What… would you have preferred the truth???

    It’s the Cleveland Brown’s.

    He’d never get hired anywhere if he said that, minus the Pats or Miami Heat..

  17. seaeagle707 says: Jan 9, 2014 6:39 PM

    Perhaps you could get some insight about the Cleveland FO “experience”, from John Moffitt?

  18. djigel says: Jan 9, 2014 9:29 PM

    I never liked the guy – but can you blame him? Last year, Cleveland missed out on their top choices (i.e. Chip Kelly) – hired a guy because they had to, then fired him after one season because he couldn’t get the job done with mediocre assets.

    If I was in McDaniels’ shoes, and I had a steady job with a great organization, why would I leave when I was a second or third choice for the coaching carousel that Cleveland has? I’m not sure this is what he was thinking when making this decision but it makes total sense – and the only way he could elaborate is trashing the Browns, which would make it even MORE difficult to get a HC job down the line…..

  19. asportsfan says: Jan 10, 2014 12:16 AM

    As ‘smart’ as the Patriots organization is, do they need this type of distraction with a matchup against Colts this weekend?

    This is the guy who drafted Teabow in the first round. Why cant this loooooser wait until the playoffs are over. If he is their top candidate, wont they wait for few more weeks? And these clowns get paid in millions.

  20. mdzurenko says: Jan 10, 2014 12:26 AM

    Mary Kay doesn’t break any news. Most of her updates are repeating what ESPN reports. If you want Cleveland sports news stick with someone with class like Terry Pluto.

  21. mayfieldroadboy says: Jan 10, 2014 10:48 AM

    If it were up to me, I would go after Gase or McDaniels. Most people don’t like McDaniels, but on what do they base their opinions? Denver? Or because he’s a BB clone?

    Were it not for McDaniels, Peyton would not be a Bronco; Cutler would still be riding high in Colorado with the Broncos stuck in the same mediocrity as most NFL teams.

    And as much as I like Gase, is he a “fine” OC, or is he just living, just like a mushroom, in the shadow of Peyton Manning?

  22. newelldesigns says: Jan 10, 2014 11:27 AM

    @ mdzurenko, I agree with you on Terry, The PD let he best one go and that was Tony Grossi. Thank God he didn’t come to Cleveland, lets look at the Belichick tree, first there was Romeo Crennel, a very well liked guy. He’s a great DC, just a little too easy going to be a head coach then there is Mangini who worked offense his first year then switched to defense. I don’t have anything bad to say about him, his work ethic was solid. Insert McDaniels, do we really need limbs off the Belichick tree in Cleveland, umm no.

    Still waiting for next year!!

  23. bcraven44 says: Jan 10, 2014 2:37 PM

    Josh McDaniels, just like Chip Kelly before him, won’t work for this front office. No one will. They fired Chud because he wouldn’t cut players they deemed as underperforming. They (i.e. Banner) want to be in charge of every aspect of the Browns. Any front office should be in charge of building a team but after the roster is set, the head coach should determine who stays and who goes during the season. No potential hire is going to relinquish that responsibility to a stuffed suit like Banner…unless that coach thinks this is his only shot at becoming an NFL head coach.

  24. lanman11 says: Jan 10, 2014 3:24 PM

    My guess would be he did not like what he heard and weighed that with the idea of having a very secure gig in the Boston area, good pay, good schools for the kids, a stellar organization to work for, a living legend of a QB to work with, a legendary coach to mentor him, and the prospect of moving up the ladder without having to ever uproot his family or go through tumultuous change like he did in Denver. Throw in the fact that there are Red Sox games to go to in the off season, and this might be the best decision he’s ever made.

  25. midtec2005 says: Jan 11, 2014 9:07 PM

    I live in Ohio but I’m not a Browns fan. I just have one thing to say…

    HIRE JIM TRESSEL!

    I’d be an instant Browns fan, as would be the whole state. Instead these clowns haven’t even interviewed him.

  26. kielbasakid1957 says: Jan 12, 2014 3:32 PM

    It’s not as if another former Buckeyes coach didn’t do well in Cleveland by the name of Paul Brown! I agree. Hire Jim Tressel. What have you got to lose?

  27. icemanbs69 says: Jan 14, 2014 3:52 PM

    TOP secret info :
    NY Giants are waiting for Josh McDanield to finish season with Patriots. Josh will then be announced as the New Offensive Coordinator/Assistant Head Coach of the Giants

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