Josh McDaniels could be closing in on his second chance as a head coach


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.

81 responses to “Josh McDaniels could be closing in on his second chance as a head coach

  1. Would love to see Tim Tebow being guided by an offensive-minded Coach who actually believes in him…then let the chips fall where they may.

  2. poor cleveland first they failed with belicheck then they endured crennel then mangini now mcdaniels i guess charlie weiss better start planning to move to cleveland in 3 yrs

  3. From heckert (and, frankly, any viable head coach) to Lombardi and mcdaniels? You have got to be blanking kidding me.

  4. Back one year with the Patriots and gone again? I suppose there is a big difference in prestige and a gigantic difference in money between being an assistant and a head coach. But leaving after one year after having been accepted back is bad form. That is, unless the Patriots win the Super Bowl, in which case he can justifiably say “Mission Accomplished” and walk into the sunset (or fly to Cleveland).

  5. Well I hope he learned his lesson, and doesn’t give away his starting QB (Cutler) and WR (B. Marshall) like he did in Denver. It won’t work this time either if his ego is still too big

  6. This guy single handed dismantled the Denver broncos. Trading up for tebow? Jay cutler leaves town, brandon Marshall takes off too, the only benefit of this was “no show” Moreno who seems to finally showing he’s a first round pick. The adversity and potential team building problems that comes with this guy isn’t worth it! Also he really pissed me off signing with New England right before Denver’s play off game. This guy isn’t worth it

  7. As a Denver Bronco fan, I think it sounds better than perfect, josh Mc Douche to Cleveland along with the QB that can’t throw that he moved up to draft. As far as Florio suggesting he’ll get another shot, any owner would be nuts if he does his research about JMD.

  8. Please, Tebow in Jax is a joke. The Jags have suffered with bad qb play for too long. Tebow isn’t the answer behind center but maybe on the sideline being a cheerleader is where he belongs.

  9. Lol…i mean just hysterical…hey as a Broncos fan i dont care where he coaches again. How teams can seriously consider this guy after being handed a playoff team and making them into a laughing stock all within a year is beyond me…

  10. Tim Tebow will be out of football in less than 2 years. And Josh McDaniels is one of the very worst head coaches in recent NFL history. How any team could be even slightly interested in McDaniels after his destruction of the Broncos organization boggles the mind.

  11. If I was considering hiring him, I’d have a serious discussion about what he learned about his personnel moves. He traded away Cutler and Hillis while drafting the following players in the first round: Knowshon Moreno, Robert Ayers, Demarius Thomas, and the guy in the picture. There’s some production among that group but not many people would applaud him.

    “What did you learn from this, Mr. McD?”

  12. Belichick’s “failed” head coaching stint in Cleveland started at zero with a crappy roster and culminated in an 11-4 playoff season in 1994 before the 1995 season that was trashed when Modell announced the move. That team was 3-3 or something at the time of the announcement. In the ’94 season, Belichick won a playoff game against the Partiots before losing (to PIT I believe). So he as not exactly a failure in CLE… pretty much the same guy he is now.

  13. This is amazing. The only move he made that ended up working in Denver’s favor was trading Cutler, and that only worked out two years after the fact when they signed Manning. I’d love to see him and Tebow reunite in Jacksonville. It would ultimately kill that sorry franchise and send them to L.A.

  14. As a Cleveland fan all i can say is SON OF A B****. Have we not suffered enough. This is the same guy who thought teblow was a QB and worth a 1st rounder. We finally field a competitive team and now this might get blown the F apart. If so im done.

  15. There is a long list of failures in Denver other than Cutler, Hillis, Marshall. Traded for a 1st round draft pick that ended up being cut, cut Mike Leach, paid a million for a long snapper from the Patriots and on and on. Maybe the Pats have potty trained him but he is hated in Denver!

  16. Making personnel decisions and being a head coach are two different things. His biggest gaffe as a head coach? His allowing Nolan to leave and hiring a dc with no experience. His personnel moves are underrated. Marshall was not going to be resigned and had to be traded. He drafted Thomas, Decker, Moreno, Beadles, Walton, Woodyard, traded for Joe Mays. All of these guys have made an impact. Don’t forget, he also signed Brandon Lloyd, who was nothing,more than a transient wr and paired him with the only QB whom he had any success with, Kyle Orton.

  17. Regardless of how many chances he’s given Josh will never be a successful head coach without BB pulling the strings for him. So unless BB will be available, by phone, 24/7 Josh, and every other BB decipal won’t have a clue!

  18. Will McDaniels be leaving his massive ego and sense of entitlement back in Foxboro?

    If not, he’ll flop just like he did in Denver.

  19. Getting rid of Cutler and Marshall were to of the GOOD decisions that McDaniels made in Denver. He would never take that Carolina job. If he thought Cutler was a selfish, immature prima donna that can’t be coached (and he was correct), there’s no way he’d want to be anywhere near Newton. Newton will likely set the record for getting the most coaches fired because of his vast “potential.”

    After completely whiffing in the 2009 draft with Denver he put together an excellent one in 2010, and the guy can flat coach offense. I’m interested to see how he would do in a place like Cleveland with a chance to build something from essentially scratch.

  20. Every coach who failed under Belichick have one common denominator. They were not successful elsewhere because they could not take Tom BrDy with them to bring them success.
    Same with Belichick, what has he done without Brady? Other than win in the weakest division in football.

  21. I’m not saying that someday, someone who leaves the Pats and BB more specifically might not be successful. All I’m saying is that totaling EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM (besides the magnificent Ozzie Newsome) whether FO or coaching, they have zero playoff wins…combined…away from the Pats. Dimitroff might be the first one besides Ozzie who breaks though, but to date…the big zero.

  22. Since it is a rumor, that might be what Mike Lombardi wants to happen, but it will not happen. Further, Josh McDaniel will still be the OC of the New England Patriots 4 years from now. His family was looking for some stability after his 2 team gypsy tour. He believes he found it back with the Patriots. He is in no hurry to move on. There will be plenty of bottom of the ranking coaching opportunities 4 years from now as well.

  23. As a Jaguars fan, I am hoping that this season is our rock bottom.. I figure that we can only go up from here. However, the scenario of bringing McDaniels and Tebow here, I fear the descent would just be beginning. Based on ticket sales for the Jets game today, the one tarp removed equals about 1,100 seats. If that’s the bump in sales that Tebow gives us, it is certainly not worth the aggravation.

  24. He’s actually developed into a very good offensive coach. At one point in time, there were a lot of questions as to whether or not he was simply piggybacking off the system Weis built, but he’s refined and adjusted his schemes over the years. Considering his age, he’ll probably get a 2nd chance if he wants it.

    I don’t know if he wants, and I don’t know how serious these rumors are, but not only does an owner need to pick a good situation, Josh needs to find a good situation. If I’m an owner, I hire a GM who has all personnel power, and if that GM wants Josh, okay, but Josh better have a plan as to who is going to be DC (Romeo Crennel seems likely to be fired, and he’s a good HC).

    If I’m Josh, I look at the weak QB draft and I strongly consider passing up weak QB situations. That means putting his ego aside. He can’t walk into a situation and think, I am definitely going to either coach up the QB’s there or I will find a diamond in the rough, veteran or rookie, and develop them right away. It’s rare that a NFL coach gets 3 chances to be a HC. A coach getting his first shot can roll the dice on a Cleveland or a Jacksonville. I’m not sure those places are good fits for Josh, though, due to the QB situations. Jacksonville, IMO, is a bit more tempting than Cleveland, as Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne have a bit more raw talent and ability than Weeden/McCoy, IMO. That said, both rosters need a lot of change.

    San Diego would be tempting because of Rivers, but my guess is that San Diego is going to go a different way.

  25. As a head coach I believe that McD is too controlling as an individual to be successful, he’s a good OC and that’s what he should stick with.

  26. Some guys are good assistants but are terrible head coaches and McDaniels is one of them.He should stay in New England until he retires.

  27. Browns fan here. McDaniels?


    Honestly, I wouldn’t mind seeing current D coordinator Jauron take over the reins. I can potentially see Andy Reid coming here, but he’ll be taking a year off (and he should, he never really got to properly grieve the loss of his son).

  28. Really? This has got to be the only profession where one can prove to be incompetent and still be considered for another shot. In the business world we have what’s called a résumé. It lists ones credentials which is another word for past performance. You see coaches like McDaniels, Crennel, Lombardi and ask, “why?” Go get me the coach for the browns who coaches their guys hard, holds them accountable, requires attention to detail and likes playing great old school down and dirty football. That’s the guy we want for this team.

  29. Mcdaniels traded away cutler, Marshall, scheffler, and hillis

    Used a first round pick on Knowshon moreno who has been a bust for the most part so far

    First round pick on Robert ayers who has been solid but as a DE for John fox, mcdaniels drafted ayers as a 3-4 OLB and he was a bust at that spot.

    Tim tebow in the first round, pick that could have been used on a skill player rather than a qb most had going in the third round.

    Demaryius Thomas is a stud but had injury issues coming out.

    Drafted blocking TE Robert Quinn in the 2nd round–major bust

    Traded a first round pick in order to draft Alphonso Smith, are you kidding me?

    As a bronco fan I hope he goes to an AFC west team

  30. I’m glad to have McDaniels back at OC for the Patriots, but realistically isn’t he being judged by how well Brady and Co. do?

    And for that matter, how well Brady does has a lot to do with the play of the OL – something McDaniels isn’t really responsible for.

    Give McDaniels Brady, Gronkowski, Hernandez, Welker and a good RB or two with a decent OL and he’ll be a great Head Coach.

    Give him a mediocre team and let him bring in more mediocre players, and you’ll have a mediocre to bad team.

    Even his move to bring in Brandon Lloyd hasn’t wow’d anyone – thought that was a pretty affordable low risk move in the first place.

  31. Think McDaniels makes a lot of sense in Philly – lot of offensive toys and offensive line that will be a lot better when healthy. Question becomes whether or not he would want to coach Foles, but the talent is there – McCoy, Jackson, Brown, Maclin, Celek is an above average collection of skill guys.

    I think McDaniels will do much better in his second try as the lead dog.

  32. McDaniels and Tebow to Jacksonville! It’ll be ball, and it’ll be juice! Um, whatever the heck that means.

  33. Lots of misses and some hits for Josh in Denver. One thing for certain he is truly a great offensive mind, both original and flexible. I think he’ll learn from his mistakes in his next opportunity. But I don’t think that opportunity will be next season. I think one of the conditions of him getting rehired was that he stay around for a few years.

    One of the reasons for the bad blood between Mangini and BB was that when he was made DC, he promised BB he’d stay for a few years at that position….then he left after one year.

    Its a similar situation for McDaniel. Also he would look to be heir to the throne in NE, and how many years more is BB going to coach.

    In NE McDaniel has a winning program, stable ownership, a good stable family situation. Stay a few years, watch his kids grow up in the same house, and THEN either take over for BB or move on. IIRC BB had about 5 years between jobs.

  34. As a Packer fan I could only hope some NFC North team would hire McOverrated. He is not head coach material and quite frankly there are only two reasons he’s even being mentioned again for a coaching job…Belichick and Brady. His Denver post was a nightmare and when he went to Rams Bradford, and the whole offense frankly, went a step backwards.

    Good luck to any team that will hire him but I can say with all certainty that it will not end well.

  35. What has he ever done successfully? Coach one of the top offenses in the NFL featuring Tom Brady?

    Your family cat could do that successfully.

  36. Josh’s biggest problem in Denver was immaturity (hard to believe he’s 36), so there’s something to be said for him waiting to take the reins from Belichick in New England. On the other hand, Belichick is only 60. He might not be ready to turn over the reins for another five or six years–perhaps longer.

    Cleveland is an interesting possibility, but I don’t know how big a draw nearly 30-year-old Brandon Weedon would be. Seems like McDaniels would want a star QB. If he really thinks he can get Tebow to the promised land, maybe he will look for an opportunity to work with him again. Personally … I’d go for Rivers.

  37. McDaniels will be well paid to remain as a coordinator in New England, and will eventually become the head coach when Belichick decides to retire. Hand picked successor.

    Take it to the bank.

  38. Funny how all the people that say Belichick is nothing without Brady seem to be the same types that say Brady is overrated. They are the best coach/player combo in history, just look at their insane win loss record. How many assistants come and go? Yet these two win regardless. Keep hating it pathetic. As for McDaniels he should stay till Brady retires, continue to learn from bill and maybe then he’ll be ready to be a HC.

  39. Seriously, as a Bronco fan I have to laugh.. hope he goes to San Diego and tries to trade Rivers for Cassell

    You sound like a Browns fan talking about Belichick in 2000.

  40. Come on, we all know if he went to anywhere that has a decent QB he would run him and all of the other good offensive players out of town. I think he is looking to get his boy toy Teeb’s and an Orton reunion going.

  41. That source may be loco… based on how well the Browns are playing i believe 3 game winning streak Shurmar i believe will not be fired. As to the team that hires McD good luck.

  42. Since the new owner bought the Browns the team is 5 -3. There is a good possibility that the Haslam era will start with a 8-3 record (which would give Cleveland 8-8 on the season).

    If that’s the case, why would you fire the coach/GM you have when they’ve got basically the senior bowl all stars playing competitively in the NFL? Not only are they competitive in the NFL but they could very well go 3-3 in the toughest division in the NFL when the previous two coaches could never come close to that. As a matter of fact weren’t the Browns almost unanimously picked to be last place in the league prior to the start of the season?

  43. Belichick’s 94 season is the best one the Browns have had in the ensuing 18 years.

    The next year they announced their move to Baltimore, and everything imploded.

    Belichick “failing” in Cleveland is a myth.

  44. I promise you this. If the Browns hire this idiot, I will burn all my Browns stuff, and shift my loyalties to the Ravens!!!

    Go Browns, anybody but this guy for coach!!!

  45. Someone explain to me how getting rid of Tony Scheffler and Peyton Hillis somehow illustrates incompetence? They are back ups on bad teams with bad attitudes (See Joe Thomas’s recent comments about Hillis). I’ve had to listen to other Bronco fans try to tell me this for three years now. The only thing a statement like that indicates is that you either don’t watch or don’t understand football.

  46. If he got hired by Carolina, he’d try to trade Cam to the Jets for Greg McElroy. I’d rather have a chimp from the NC Zoo in Asheboro than this guy. Chip Kelly, let me know when you’re ready and I’ll email some MLS listings for nice houses in Charlotte for sale.

    McDaniels should go to Jacksonville. Yes, I know that would be cruel to Jags fans, but since there are only 7 of them, that’s where McDaniels has the least-negative impact…

  47. Funny part is gonna be when clueless Bronco fans come to find that their beloved #18 took them no further in the playoffs than Tebow did last season.

    Feel free to blame that on McDaniels as well.

  48. McDaniels will stay in New England. He likes it there. And, I can suggest that he already has a deal in place to replace Belichick as head coach of the Pats when Bill decides to hang em up. And, that date may be sooner than many expect.

  49. Sad thing is that I can see a scenario where he comes to San Diego as the new HC and maybe brinds one or two from NE with him. Think about it, unfortunately, the front office is desperate to breathe life back into the fan base, and how better to do it than with the promise of youth and the “promised land” via the offense that procured the titles for Ms. Brady? I hate to think that this could be the case, but I certainly wouldn’t put it past our front office. I mean, who keeps A.J. Smith and Norval around this long even after it is evident that the experiment failed? The Spanos family does…sadly

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