In his first stint as a head coach, things didn’t go very well for Josh McDaniels. Hired by the Broncos in 2009, he was fired during the 2010 season.
At first, things were looking good for McDaniels, leading the team to a 6-0 start that included a fist-pumping win over his mentor, Bill Belichick.
Unlike other Belichick pupils who went elsewhere and failed, McDaniels’ road led back to Foxboro, where he is serving as offensive coordinator a year after having that same job in St. Louis. Now, as the 2013 coaching carousel approaches, McDaniels’ name is bubbling back onto the list of potential head-coaching candidates.
The first rumor that has landed on our radar screen links McDaniels to Cleveland. Coincidentally, that’s where Belichick ultimately failed as a first-time NFL head coach, before becoming regarded as one of the best ever in New England. As the rumor goes, McDaniels and G.M. Mike Lombardi would come to the Browns as a package deal.
A native of nearby Canton, it’s unclear how McDaniels would be received by Browns fans. The local media already has been bristling at the notion that Lombardi could supplant G.M. Tom Heckert.
And with plenty of coaching jobs expected to be available this season, McDaniels could be lured elsewhere. Perhaps he’d be interested in coaching up Cam Newton, if the Carolina job is open. Or perhaps McDaniels would be willing to work with likely front-office chiefs Jimmy Raye and John Spanos in San Diego, if that also means working with Philip Rivers.
Jacksonville remains an intriguing possibility for McDaniels, given that he could then try to reunite with the quarterback he selected in the first round of the 2010 draft. (You know, the guy in the picture with McDaniels?)
Either way, McDaniels could soon be once again in demand as a head coach, which would make him one of the few members of the FFCA for whom NFL owners may clamor.