Josh McDaniels would be the eighth and final candidate to interview for the Cleveland Browns’ vacancy at head coach.
But the 43-year-old New England Patriots offensive coordinator, who met with the Browns at the team’s Berea headquarters for seven hours on Friday, is on track to remain in Foxborough.
The Browns plan to hire Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski, NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport reported Sunday.
Stefanski and the Vikings fell to the San Francisco 49ers, 27-10, in Saturday’s divisional round. Stefanski had interviewed with Cleveland one day prior to McDaniels.
McDaniels, a native of Canton, Ohio, played wide receiver at nearby John Carroll University and served as a graduate assistant at Michigan State. He arrived with the Patriots as a personnel assistant in 2001, and became quarterbacks coach in 2004. McDaniels operated as New England’s offensive coordinator for the subsequent four seasons before becoming head coach of the Denver Broncos at age 32.
McDaniels went 11-17 in Denver and logged one campaign on the St. Louis Rams’ staff before reconvening with head coach Bill Belichick, quarterback Tom Brady and the Patriots in 2012.
Greg Roman of the Baltimore Ravens, Eric Bieniemy of the Kansas City Chiefs, Brian Daboll of the Buffalo Bills, Jim Schwartz of the Philadelphia Eagles and San Francisco’s Robert Saleh preceded McDaniels and Stefanski in the Browns’ process. As did new Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy.
McDaniels had also been scheduled to interview with the Carolina Panthers and New York Giants over the past week, but after-season Patriots responsibilities delayed his availability to do so.
The Panthers hired Baylor’s Matt Rhule. And the Giants hired Joe Judge, formerly New England’s special teams coordinator and wide receivers coach.