Multiple sources are saying the Cleveland Browns are interested in New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels as their next head coach. Reporters from both sides are citing league sources to confirm the interest is there. As Tom Curran points out here, since the Patriots have a bye week until their divisional playoff game, McDaniels and other assistants will have a small window of time for teams like the Browns to interview them and try to make a quick hire.
This might explain why the Browns were so willing to fire Rob Chudzinski so fast. It stands to reason they have reached out to a third party that has confirmed a mutual interest from McDaniels, so they can use this week to bring him in and interview him. If they decide they want him, they can move and make the hire. Chances are an interview would happen between Tuesday and Thursday to make it so McDaniels can focus on the playoff game at the end of the week.
The Browns are also reported to be interested in Penn State head coach Bill O’Brien. Nothing precludes O’Brien to interviewing at any point in time now and he has already reportedly interviewed with the Houston Texans. They could make a big push for O’Brien, but there is a more time sensitive element with McDaniels.
If there are other teams who have not fired their head coach, the Browns would have an advantage on being able to get the interview done, make their judgment and either try to come to an agreement or move on to the next candidate. There are multiple connections between McDaniels and the Browns between general manager Mike Lombardi and quarterback Brian Hoyer. If there is indeed an interest here as the reports are suggesting, it will not take long to either come to fruition or not happen.