The Cleveland Browns seem to be casting a wide net in their head coaching search, since they have been linked to six coaching candidates ever since firing Rob Chudzinski. However, New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels seems to stand above the other candidates, and he remains the front-runner for the job. While the Browns can’t hire or officially negotiate with McDaniels until the Patriots are officially finished with their season, they can most certainly interview him.
It’s already been reported that the Browns will interview with McDaniels, and it’s clear that they have been pressing hard to speak with him. The Patriots granted permission to the Browns yesterday, and league sources tell ESPN’s Chris Mortensen that the Browns will interview Josh McDaniels on Saturday.
CBS Sports’s Jason La Canfora reported yesterday that it’s a three-man race among McDaniels and college coaches Gus Malzahn of Auburn and James Franklin of Vanderbilt, but the Browns are also interviewing three other coordinators. Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, Seattle Seahawks DC Dan Quinn, and Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Adam Gase have all been approached for interviews. Bowles looks like the Rooney Rule candidate, and it really does seem like McDaniels is the clear front-runner. However, it will be interesting to see how things go with the college coaches, and Browns fans should keep a close eye on Malzahn, who led Auburn to an incredible turn-around this season.