Morning sports update: NFL insiders explained why the Browns reportedly didn’t hire Josh McDaniels

The Patriots' offensive coordinator reportedly wanted "sweeping changes" to Cleveland's front office.

Josh McDaniels with the Patriots in 2019.
Josh McDaniels with the Patriots in 2019. –file/barry chin

The Bruins are in Philadelphia this evening to play the Flyers at 7 p.m.

And the Celtics are at home tonight against the Bulls at 7:30 p.m.

The AFC and NFC Championship matchups are set. The Titans and Chiefs will play in Kansas City on Sunday at 3:05 p.m., while the Packers head to San Francisco to face the 49ers (also on Sunday) at 6:40 p.m.

The Browns’ decision to not hire Josh McDaniels: Though it hasn’t been officially announced, multiple reports indicate that the Browns are set to hire Vikings offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski as the team’s new head coach.


Cleveland’s reported decision to hire Stefanski likely means that Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels won’t be getting another chance to be an NFL head coach for at least another year. McDaniels, whose name came up in multiple head coaching vacancies over the past few weeks, was in the running to become the next Browns coach. Should the Browns finalize the new hire, it will leave no remaining head coach openings in the NFL.

On paper, McDaniels arguably has stronger credentials than Stefanski. The 43-year-old has been the Patriots’ offensive coordinator in two successful stints, and has helped the team win six Super Bowls.

Yet McDaniels was in favor of tailoring Cleveland’s front office to his own liking, according to multiple reports.

As NFL insider Albert Breer noted, McDaniels wanted “sweeping changes,” something that likely hurt his candidacy for the Browns’ job:

Cleveland’s football hierarchy is currently determined, in part, by chief strategy officer Paul DePodesta (who has been in that role since 2016). DePodesta is a former Major League Baseball general manager, and is known for his focus on an analytics-driven approach to sports management.

Whether or not McDaniels would’ve wanted to keep DePodesta — or would’ve worked cohesively with him — is unknown, but as Cleveland columnist Pat McManamon pointed out in a story for The Athletic, acquiescing to McDaniels would’ve required Cleveland ownership to acknowledge additional mistakes.


“Josh McDaniels (and his six Super Bowl rings and experience with Bill Belichick) would have required a front-office restructuring, which would have meant the Browns admitting more error, and that hurts the psyche,” wrote McManamon. “That left McDaniels heading home Friday. Stefanski was hired Sunday.”

Trivia: What current Celtic was a member of the 2011 University of Pittsburgh basketball team that Kemba Walker (playing for the University of Connecticut) defeated in that year’s famous Big East Tournament matchup?

(Answer at the bottom).

Hint: He played in the EuroLeague before signing with the Celtics in 2018.

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On this day: In 1999, Michael Jordan retired for the second time from the NBA. The announcement came just days before the league finally announced the end of a lockout that had delayed the start of the 1998-1999 season. The Bulls were coming off of the second three-peat of championships in the Jordan era.

Jordan cited a lack of desire to keep playing, saying that “physically, it would be easy” to return.

He would un-retire in 2001, playing two more seasons for the Washington Wizards.

Daily highlight: Boston University freshman Wilmer Skoog scored a memorable goal over the weekend in a 5-4 loss to Dartmouth.


Trivia answer: Brad Wanamaker.

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