CLEVELAND — Josh McDaniels’ interview with the Cleveland Browns appears to have come to an end and no announcement on the franchise’s next head coach is expected to come down tonight.
McDaniels, the New England Patriots’ offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach, was seen leaving the facility early Friday evening after spending all day meeting with the Browns’ search committee of owner Jimmy Haslam, chief strategy officer Paul DePodesta and fellow executives JW Johnson and Chris Cooper.
According to ESPN’s Josina Anderson, “a source confirms the organization is not expected, as of this tweet, to make a decision tonight on its head coach vacancy.”
The Browns are the last remaining team in the NFL that is looking for a head coach, as Washington, Dallas, the New York Giants and Carolina have filled their vacancies in the last two weeks.
Here is a look at where the coaching search stands after two weeks of interviews.
Along with McDaniels, the Browns have spoken with a Super Bowl-winning coach, Mike McCarthy, as well as prominent offensive coordinators Greg Roman (Baltimore Ravens), Eric Bieniemy (Kansas City Chiefs), Brian Daboll (Buffalo Bills) and Kevin Stefanski (Minnesota Vikings).
Additionally, San Francisco 49ers and Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinators Robert Saleh and Jim Schwartz interviewed with the Browns’ coaching search committee.
Of those candidates, all but McCarthy remain available, as he was hired to be the Cowboys’ new coach earlier this week.
Down to final three?
While Schwartz curiously was a late addition to the interviews and had everything the team could be looking for: an analytics background, NFL coaching experience and a tenure as head coach of the Detroit Lions, it appears he is not going to factor into the decision.
According to Ben Volin, the senior NFL reporter for The Boston Globe, the Browns are down to three finalists: McDaniels, Stefanski and Daboll.
All three are successful offensive coordinators who helped their teams make the postseason this year.
What will they inherit?
A lack of discipline derailed the Browns’ once-promising hopes to break the NFL’s longest active playoff drought. The Browns (6-10) last qualified for postseason play during the 2002 season.
In addition to missing the playoffs for the 17th straight time, the Browns finished the 2019 season with a sub .500 record for the 12th consecutive year. The Browns last finished above .500 when they had a 10-6 record in 2007.
In 2019, the Browns were flagged for the league’s sixth-most penalties, 122 infractions that cost the team 1,106 yards. Those 1,106 yards were the fourth-highest total in the NFL this past season.
Quarterback Baker Mayfield and the Browns’ offense has some growing pains during the 2019 season despite the presence of Pro Bowl-caliber receivers and running backs in Odell Beckham Jr., Jarvis Landry, Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt.
Mayfield completed 317 of his 534 attempts (59.4 percent) for 3,827 yards and 22 touchdowns against 21 interceptions this year after completing 310 of his 486 throws (63.8 percent) with an NFL rookie-record 27 touchdowns against 14 picks as a rookie in 2018.