In a somewhat surprising turn of events, New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels took his name out of the running for the head coaching job of the Cleveland Browns. McDaniels appeared to be a heavy favorite for the job and many thought much of the coaching search was a charade until he was available so they could hire him. A substantial amount of the fan base wanted no part of McDaniels because of his failures in Denver as a head coach with total control and then his struggles in St. Louis as an offensive coordinator. Nevertheless, there are people, many of which did not want McDaniels, now criticizing and trying to argue this makes the team look bad because McDaniels took his name out of the search. The only thing that makes the organization look bad is the actual hire and that hire failing. Everything else is high school drama crap.
So, the Browns are a bad organization because they talked to a guy people did not want. Then, they are a bad organization because it looks like a forgone conclusion that McDaniels will be the head coach. Now, the Browns are a bad organization because McDaniels is not going to be the head coach; the person did not want in that position in the first place. There is definitely an ‘only in Cleveland’ vibe to the situation. Basically, the Browns were screwed the second they interviewed McDaniels, but would have likely been criticized for not interviewing him if another team was interested.
The only way this looks bad for the Browns is if they were absolutely zeroed in on McDaniels, this was their only target and they were not considering anyone else. The result being that they were so in on McDaniels that missing out on him has derailed the search and forced them to start from scratch. There has been no indication of that so far in their search.
Will Burge of the Bleacher Report has been reporting for the past week and a half that McDaniels was the guy and it was his job to lose, according to a source with which he had spoken. If that report is true, McDaniels was their primary target. Nowhere in that report has he suggested he was their only consideration. If people buy into Burge’s reasonable assertion, it means the Browns missed on their top target. If not, then they missed out on someone in the running.
If the Browns hire Gus Malzahn tomorrow, this is nothing; less than nothing. People forget about this instantly and react to the hire. That could happen, but it is unlikely. That is how short sighted this nonsense is. It is the end of the world and a reason to rail on the Browns as a franchise in the moment.
McDaniels is supposed to have had a great seven and a half hour interview with the Browns, but was heavily influenced by his wife and not wanting to move his family and their four children right now. Take a second and breathe out and think about how awful that is for the Browns. This is about McDaniels; not the Browns. Maybe he was the favorite and maybe they wanted to hire him, but it is hardly the end of the world or a bad look for the organization.
And for people who did not want him anyway, this should be good news. But there is such angst, such anger and such frustration that the Browns have worked hard to earn over the years that all rational thought and analysis has gone out the window and it is just different levels of anger. It is evidence of a passionate fan base, but also one that might be suffering some form of battered fan syndrome.
At some point, the Browns will make a hire unless they just want to roll the ball out there and let their players go do it themselves. When that happens, focus on the hire. Criticize the hire. Get excited or frustrated by the hire. Getting outraged at the team for not hiring the guy most did not want anyway is insane.