BOSTON (CBS) — The Patriots are reportedly preparing for life without Josh McDaniels.
According to Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio, the Patriots are expecting their offensive coordinator to leave New England for a second head coaching opportunity in either Green Bay or Cleveland. McDaniels reportedly interviewed with the Packers on Friday, but there haven’t been any reports of an interview (or even any interest) with his hometown Browns.
As for who would replace McDaniels on the New England sideline, Florio floated USC offensive coordinator and former Patriots draft pick Kliff Kingsbury, who is in an interesting spot with the Trojans.
Kingsbury, 39, just took the USC offensive coordinator position after being fired from Texas Tech in November, and the school is blocking him from interviewing with NFL teams. The New York Jets and Arizona Cardinals expressed interest in Kingsbury for their head coaching vacancies, but were turned away by Athletic Director Lynn Swann.
Florio said that if the right opportunity comes along (perhaps something like running an offense with quarterback Tom Brady?), Kingsbury may simply walk away from USC.
“He’s only been there a month and he’s been blocked from interviewing from head coaching jobs. I’m told he might quit, pay a very low buyout and pursue NFL opportunities,” Florio said on NBC’s Sunday Night Countdown.
Kingsbury served as offensive coordinator at Houston and Texas A&M before becoming head coach of his alma mater, Texas Tech, in 2013. He rejuvenated the school’s offense, with his teams averaging over 40 points per game. But he went 35-40 over six seasons as head coach and was let go after a 5-7 campaign in 2018.
The Patriots drafted Kingsbury in the sixth round in 2003 out of Texas Tech, but he spent his rookie season on injured reserve with an arm injury. He was released the following season and spent time with New Orleans, Denver, the New York Jets and Buffalo ahead of his career in coaching.