It’s that time of the year when everyone in the NFL, media will name another assistant coach from the Bill Belichick tree as the next up and coming. This year it’s failed head coach and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. It wasn’t long before coach McDaniels name was listed as in play by MMQB writer Albert Breer as a top candidate for the Browns.
Per, John Dorsey and his head coaching list let us take a look at how Josh McDaniels would stack up.
1st. High football acumen:
McDaniels started his football life while attending John Carroll University as a wide receiver in 1995. He went on to begin coaching as the graduate assistant for the Michigan State Spartans. Only one year into the program he was off to the New England Patriots as a personal assistant. Over the next seven years, McDaniels worked with multiple positions groups. Including Defensive assistant, Quarterbacks coach and finished with Offensive coordinator & quarterbacks coach in 2008.
The start of the 2009 NFL, season Josh McDaniels was given his chance to take the helm as head coach of the Denver Broncos. Daniels wasn’t able to hold the job for long after going 8-8 his first year and 3-9 in his second.
After his short stint as head coach, he was then hired by the St. Louis Rams as the Offensive coordinator & quarterbacks coach in 2011. That season was a low point for the Rams as they finished with a record of 2-14. At the season end, McDaniels again found himself without employment.
It wasn’t long before Belichick called McDaniels back to the mother-ship to take his rightful place as the offensive coordinator & quarterbacks coach in 2012 where he remains.
As the offensive coordinator & quarterbacks coach with the help of Tom Brady, Josh McDaniels has schemed one of the most potent offensive units in the NFL. The list of high caliper wins includes nine Division championships and two Super Bowls.
It’s safe to say that yes McDaniels would check the box for high football acumen. He has served many years with one the best head coaches to ever work in the NFL.
2nd. Can lead young men:
No formula is set in place to give a defiant answer to this question. We can, however, look over the details of his coaching past. McDaniels college career was short before heading to the NFL, so he wasn’t given ample time to work with a lot of young men. When McDaniels became a personal assistant with the 2001 Patriots, both veteran Drew Bledsoe and Tom Brady were already with the team.
The first two years of his coaching career with the Patriots he only worked as an assistant. He then was promoted to quarterbacks coach for two years. He wasn’t promoted to offensive coordinator & quarterbacks coach until five years after joining the team.
McDaniels went on to become the head coach of the Denver Broncos, but after a 500 first season, the recorded dropped to only three wins. It then didn’t get any better with the ST. Louis Rams.
With his tenure at the Patriots coach Belichick is the driving force behind the team. McDaniels has mostly worked with one of the greatest quarterbacks in the history of the NFL. Belichick is also famous for trading draft picks to acquire players that already have experience.
I would have to say this box will be marked as an unknown. McDaniels doesn’t have a record of working with a young team like the current Cleveland Browns.
3rd. A man of character:
What should be most important during the coaching search is the question of character.
On November 27, 2010, a video firm hired by then head coach of the Denver Broncos Josh McDaniels was caught videotaping San Francisco 49ers’ walk-through practice. The NFL fined both the Broncos and head coach Josh McDaniels $50,000. Almost like a replay from “Spygate” in 2007 when the New England Patriots were disciplined by the NFL, for videotaping New York Jets’ defensive coaches’ signals.
Per The Denver Broncos:
McDaniels later issued the following statement:
“I apologize for not promptly reporting the improper conduct of our video director before our game against the 49ers in London. The actions of this individual are in no way representative of the values and integrity held by myself, our players and coaches, and the entire Denver Broncos organization. I understand the punishment from the National Football League and support its commitment to the integrity of the game. We have addressed the situation internally to assure that nothing like this happens again.”
In 2015 Josh McDaniels once again found his side of the ball enveloped in another NFL scandal. Deflategate would take over the NFL for the next two years when the ball used during the Colts game was found to be deliberately deflated to help Tom Brady. This scandal went all the way to the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. McDaniels found himself in the middle of a team facing fines along with suspensions under his leadership.
On February 6, 2018, Josh McDaniels was going to be named the head coach of Indianapolis Colts. Before, this date on the word of McDaniels the Colts organization started hiring his hand-picked coaching staff. With the media day set to announce him as the head coach. It turned into the scene from Batman when the Joker played by Heath Ledger blew up the hospital as he walked away. McDaniels instead backed out and quit leaving the Colts to pick up the pieces of the fiery mess.
The event so unprecedented in the history of the NFL, it ended with Josh McDaniels longtime agent and friend Bob LaMonte to issue the following statement as he quit.
“My word is my bond,” LaMonte told Sports Business Journal on Wednesday. “Once you break that, there’s nothing left.”
Unlike the spectacle with McDaniels and the Colts. What was involved with head coach Bill Belichick and the New York Jets wasn’t the same. At the time the Jets head coach Bill Parcells had retired then changed his mind. Belichick was then set to be demoted from the head coaching job and that it was lead him to resign. After working out a deal to keep everyone happy, the Jets and Patriots agreed to send the Patriots first-round draft pick to the Jets and in return received Bill Belichick to become their head coach.
For GM John Dorsey to have the ability to check this box as a yes. He would need to overlook a long list of questionable events.
After the last three years, it’s hard to see how John Dorsey would feel comfortable bypassing candidates like Dave Toub to take on Josh McDaniels given his past. Like drafting a quarterback first overall any GM that hires a head coach will be tied to him for life. Under-performing as a head coach and multiple scandals for Josh McDaniels to win over everyone in the organization will take an Oscar-worthy interview.
Special Thanks to @BrownsTherapy
The New York Times
The Denver Post