Delaying interviews cost Josh McDaniels his shots at Giants, Panthers jobs

Delaying interviews cost Josh McDaniels his shots at Giants, Panthers jobs

When Tuesday morning dawned, Josh McDaniels was set to get on a plane to Charlotte to sit with the Panthers for their head coaching vacancy. Wednesday, he’d be in New York to talk to the Giants.

But before lunchtime, both jobs were filled. McDaniels — presumed to be a leading candidate for both the Panthers and Giants — had put on his suit and straightened his tie in the mirror for nothing.

There’s still a Friday interview scheduled with the Browns for their vacancy, but the fast-moving process and the Patriots asking McDaniels to hold off interviewing until Tuesday so he could button up end-of-season write-ups undeniably cost him a shot at pitching himself.

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Joe Judge, the Patriots special teams/wide receivers coach, ultimately got the Giants job. His interview timeline was a lot different than McDaniels’. Judge interviewed with his alma mater Mississippi State on Sunday, the day after the Patriots were eliminated from the playoffs.

With Mississippi State pushing Judge for an answer, Judge got the OK to sit with the Giants. 

The shutting doors that left McDaniels out in the cold began closing Tuesday morning when the Panthers decided to hire Baylor coach Matt Rhule and cancel the McDaniels interview.

The Giants were also high on Rhule. Having missed out on him, they were now were wary of losing Judge to Mississippi State. Strange but true. 

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Meanwhile, the Giants presumed McDaniels, who interviewed with the Giants in January 2018 and was leery of the head coach/GM setup with Dave Gettleman in place, would have the same concerns this time. So rather than miss out on Judge, they made their move and hired him.

Judge’s candidacy was buttressed by a “glowing” recommendation from Bill Belichick that reportedly played a “huge” role in the Giants’ decision.

It’s easy to conclude there’s a level of disappointment for McDaniels with the way this played out.

Would that make him more inclined to take the Browns job? Doubtful. He’s carefully measured his steps since coming back to the Patriots, and jumping to the Browns without being confident in their direction would be foolish.

The Patriots have been the beneficiaries of his caution. He’s helped them win three Super Bowls since coming back and the 2018 end-of-season run and march through the playoffs had Belichick devoting most of the documentary “Do Your Job III” to McDaniels’ brilliance.

McDaniels has benefited as well. He’s the highest-paid assistant coach in the NFL and has been since the Patriots convinced him to pass on the Colts job at the 11th hour two years ago. The Patriots are a better team with him than without him, especially as they head into an offseason of offensive uncertainty.

The way it played out, the chances of McDaniels staying increased on Tuesday.


Happy 3-28, Patriots fans! That could mean only one thing

Happy 3-28, Patriots fans! That could mean only one thing

While this quarantined life most of us have been living has some of us losing track of dates and even days of the week, here's a reminder that it is indeed March 28.

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That would be 3-28.

And in New England, 3-28 brings to mind one thing.

Super Bowl LI.

The Patriots, of course, were on the 3 end, and the Atlanta Falcons 28, when late in the third quarter, New England's comeback began. The rest is happy history for Patriots fans. 

So, on 3-28, guess what's trending on Twitter? It's Saturday, by the way. 

New Orleans Saints fans like to remind their NFC South rivals what day it is, too:

To get a good look at the comeback, you can tune into FOX Sunday at 3 when the Patriots' 34-28 victory is re-aired.


Report: Patriots do FaceTime interviews with NFL Draft prospects

Report: Patriots do FaceTime interviews with NFL Draft prospects

As a result of the coronavirus crisis, FaceTiming has become the way of the world for NFL teams interviewing college prospects ahead of the April 23-25 draft.

The Patriots are no exception. They've held FaceTime interviews with several players, Justin Melo of Draft Wire reports. Among them LSU guard Damien Lewis, Boise State offensive tackle Ezra Cleveland and Michigan State defensive line teammates Kenny Willekes and Raequan Williams.

Lewis, 6-foot-3, 322 pounds, was a second-team All-SEC selection and part of a unit for the national champion Tigers that won the Joe Moore Award as the nation's best college O-line. He projects as a "scheme-specific" starter by The Draft Network, better in a pass-heavy offense.

Cleveland, 6-6, 311, is projected as a mid-round pick. One of the draft's more athletic tackles, he ran a 4.93 40-yard-dash at the NFL Scouting Combine, the only O-lineman to crack 5.00. 

Willekes, 6-4, 252,  returned from a broken leg for his senior season and earned a second-team All-Big Ten spot after leading the Spartans with 16 tackles for loss and 10.5 sacks and is projected as high as a late first-rounder. Williams, 6-4, 300,  is projected as Day 3 project type pick by