By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — When Josh McDaniels spurned the Colts last February, leaving the Indianapolis franchise high-and-dry with nothing to show for their efforts but a poorly designed tweet about visors, the reaction from NFL talking heads was swift and nearly unanimous: There’s no way any NFL team will ever even consider McDaniels again! He’s blown his chance to be a head coach in this league!
That’s an opinion that appears to have already been proven wrong.
ESPN’s Dan Graziano is the latest reporter to state that teams will almost certainly come calling for Josh McDaniels this offseason.
“The list of guys with McDaniels’ credentials is pretty short, and demand for those kinds of guys isn’t fading away,” Graziano wrote. “Multiple sources close to the situation say McDaniels would be interested in a head-coaching opportunity if it were the right one, which is something we’ve heard of McDaniels before. If you want to roll your eyes, it’s hard to blame you.”
Graziano noted that the interview process will be a bit complicated, and McDaniels will need to have believable answers for why he handled last year’s situation with Indianapolis the way he did. A firmer commitment would obviously be required of McDaniels this time around. Ultimately, Graziano concluded this: “Still, it’s a process that’s likely to take place.”
That’s just the latest report to make such a suggestion. CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora reported Sunday that McDaniels “is expected to draw considerable interest for head-coaching openings again this season.”
“Conversations with decision-makers on several teams expecting to hire new coaches in 2019 revealed no shortage of potential interest in McDaniels despite what occurred last year in Indianapolis,” La Canfora reported.
Earlier this month, Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer said on Toucher & Rich that McDaniels would probably be near the top of candidates to replace Mike McCarthy, if the Green Bay job opened up.
As for other potential destinations, Graziano floated Cleveland, where the Browns have a dynamic young quarterback in Baker Mayfield. McDaniels is also a native of Ohio. Graziano also mentioned Green Bay, as well as Baltimore, as potential future homes for McDaniels.
(Here in New England, given Bill Belichick’s penchant for unpredictability, one should never rule out that McDaniels remains the Patriots’ head coach in waiting. That could be for 2019, or 2020, or 2021. Or, of course, it could be never.)
Graziano also included Patriots linebackers coach/de facto defensive coordinator Brian Flores as a top candidate for head coaching jobs this offseason.