The Green Bay Packers have requested permission to interview Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and de facto defensive coordinator Brian Flores for their head coaching job, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
The Cleveland Browns also requested to interview Flores, Schefter reported Monday. Flores is in his first season with primary defensive play-calling responsibilities, but he did not receive an official title change to replace Matt Patricia as coordinator. The 37-year-old, who played linebacker at Boston College, was one of the finalists to interview for the Arizona Cardinals’ head coaching job last season.
McDaniels had already been linked to the Packers’ opening, vacated by the firing of Mike McCarthy, when Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports reported earlier in December that “a handful of NFL assistant coaches have indicated interest in joining a McDaniels-led coaching staff in Green Bay.” In November, Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer also named McDaniels as a potential replacement for McCarthy should the 55-year-old lose his job this season.
“I think Josh McDaniels will be in play,” Breer said on “Toucher and Rich.”
It’s not the first time McDaniels — who is reportedly “open” to potential head coaching opportunities, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport — has re-entered these types of conversations since his dramatic about-face following Super Bowl LII. Rapoport included McDaniels on his short list of prospective candidates to become the next head coach of the Browns, though there have been no reports of an interview request.
Asked about the rumors earlier in December, McDaniels said he prefers to focus on the present rather than the future.
“If that’s in the cards for me, then that’s great,’’ he told reporters. “I’ve said that before, but again, I’m not worried about that right now.’’
McDaniels had accepted a head coaching position with the Indianapolis Colts in February, but the 42-year-old backed out of the gig the night before his scheduled introductory press conference. He has said repeatedly no promises came with his decision to return, though he reportedly received a five-year contract that would make him the league’s highest-paid coordinator.