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Is Josh the man?
January 2, 2014 - Mike McLain
The leading candidate to replace Rob Chudzinski as coach of the Browns remains New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, who will interview for the job Saturday.
McDaniels turned down a request to interview for the same opening last year because of family commitments -- his wife had just delivered the couple's fourth child. Browns general manager Michael Lombardi has a relationship with McDaniels, who coached the Denver Broncos for 28 games in 2009 and part of the 2010 season.
The coaching search began Wednesday when Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn was interviewed. Quinn would be considered a longshot because it's believed the Browns want an offensive-minded coach to team with the rookie quarterback that's expected to be selected in the draft.
The Browns requested permission to interview Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator Todd Bowles. Bowles, who would meet the Rooney Rule for interviewing at least one minority candidate, declined the request. He's expected to interview for some of the other openings.
Chris Mortensen of ESPN reported recently that the Browns could fall back to the college ranks if McDaniels can't be delivered. Two candidates mentioned are Auburn coach Gus Malzahn and Vanderbilt coach James Franklin.
Looking at college candidates makes sense in that owner James Haslam and CEO Joe Banner tabbed then-Oregon coach Chip Kelly as their top candidate last year. Kelly interviewed but ultimately accepted a better opportunity with the Philadelphia Eagles.
McDaniels looks like the guy at this time. Accepting the job would mean a return to the area in which he was raised (Canton). The fact he agreed to the interview means he's interested.
It would seem the only roadblock -- and it could be significant -- would be a possible concern by McDaniels about long-term job security. The fact that McDaniels was probably high on the list last year -- definitely higher than Chudzinski -- might convince McDaniels that he won't be a one-and-done coach.
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