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Report: Packers to request interview with Patriots OC Josh McDaniels

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Report: Packers to request interview with Patriots OC Josh McDaniels

-- The head coaching search is going to be an interesting one for the Green Bay Packers, and reports are already leaking out as to which direction they'll go first.

ESPN Las Vegas' Joe Arrigo reported Sunday evening that the Packers are going to request to interview New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels for their vacant head coaching position this week.

The report was later confirmed by Jim McBride of the Boston Globe, adding that "de facto" defensive coordinator Brian Flores would join him for his own interview.

McDaniels has been connected to the Packers in various facets throughout the last month. The Packers fired Mike McCarthy on Dec. 2 and are still searching for his successor; in the meantime, Joe Philbin handled the role of interim head coach, going 2-2.

His most recent defeat came on Sunday in the form of a 31-0 throttling to the Detroit Lions. It was the first shutout loss to the Lions in nearly five decades. General manager Brian Gutekunst and team President/CEO Mark Murphy intend on allowing Philbin to interview for the full-time head coaching gig. Something several players -- more specifically quarterback Aaron Rodgers and wide receiver Davante Adams -- have openly advocated for.

Typically, coaches on teams still in the playoff race can't interview with other teams for jobs. However, the loophole is if the interviewing coach is coming from a team that is on a bye week. The Patriots are the No. 2 seed in the AFC and don't play for another two weeks. 

McDaniels has been interlocked with the Patriots' organization for a large part of his coaching career, which began in 2001. He had a brief break-off in 2009 to become the head coach of the Denver Broncos, only to be fired mid-season a year later and join the St. Louis Rams' staff in 2011 as an offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. He eventually found his way back to New England in 2012, where he has been ever since.

Flores, meanwhile, has been a centerpiece in the Patriots' scouting department since 2004. He's risen through the ranks as an assistant on special teams, defense and as a positional coach.

2016 marked Flores' first season as the Patriots' linebackers coach, but due to his play-calling duties, he's also labeled as the team's defensive coordinator. His unit finished 21st in yards allowed per game, 13th in rush yards allowed per game and 10th in points allowed per game.

The Packers have already interviewed both Chuck Pagano and Jim Caldwell and are expected to draw from a list as wide as "10-12" candidates.


Zachary Jacobson is a staff writer/reporter for Cheesehead TV. He's the voice of The Leap on iTunes and can be heard on The Scoop KLGR 1490 AM every Saturday morning. He's also a contributor on the Pack-A-Day Podcast. He can be found on Twitter via @ZachAJacobson or contacted through email at [email protected].

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (91) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Bure9620's picture

No surprise, the McDaniels/Fitz decision begins as a franchise's future hangs in the balance.

GBPDAN1's picture

I'm torn regarding McDaniels. He's a sharpe offensive mind, but I question his character and also, how much of his success is Brady and Belichick? He sucked in Denver and got canned midseason of his second year. Then he punked the Colts

Oppy's picture

Wel, people love to quote brady- something to the effect of ‘if Rodgers was playing in an offensive system with the institutional knowledge and insight into opposing defenses (as the belichick sytstem) he’d throw for 6,000 yards every year.’

Here’s the big opportunity to see if that’s accurate or not, I guess is what they’re thinking.

Bure9620's picture

Not when he holds the ball for 12 seconds and ends up in the hospital during a meaningless game.....

Oppy's picture

Preaching to the choir Bure!

edp1959's picture

AR has won many games by extending plays that is how he has always played so shut up about it.

Bearmeat's picture


Um... no?

JimR_in_SoCal's picture

Lack of disciple is bad.

Rak47's picture

I have concerns about his character as well, but that being said I prefer him to Fitzgerald. At least he has experience as an NFL Head coach and long time coordinator. Fitzgerald has zip, zero, zilch, nada! There is no reason for any of the vets in the locker room to believe in or get behind Fitzgerald.

Rak47's picture

If not McDaniels I still believe very strongly the Packers need a Head coach with NFL experience whether he be a retread like Andy Reid and Pete Carroll, or a first timer like Bill O'Brien, Doug Peterson, Frank Reich, and Sean McVay. They do not need some overhyped out of his league college coach.

Nick Perry's picture

I agree 100% with you on this. Fitz would have problems filling out his coaching vacancies IMO just because he lacks connections and relationships with other coaches in the NFL.

Rak47's picture

Much of my feelings on Fitzgerald have to do with the team buying into what he's preaching. Do people really expect the players, especially the vets to buy into what Fitzgerald's preaching? If I'm a player I'm asking myself "I'm buying this based on what? His experience at Northwestern vs Indiana? I mean, seriously?"

Barnacle's picture


McCarthy had NFL experience and connections when he hired Slocum, Zook, Capers, Philbin and others who coached the first team shutout by Detroit in decades. Maybe NFL experience isn’t as important as winning experience?

The new coach may have to bash a few few egos in the locker room whether he(she for you lefties) has NFL experience or not. If Rodgers decides to be the richest problem in the NFL, deal with it. Blame Murphy and Gute for the stupid premature contract extension . Let Rodgers and Mathews see how many endorsements they get and how many more records they earn off the bench.

Coddling whiners usually does not work. Maybe Rodgers last injury, in that meaningless shutout, will scare him into retirement and educate our brain trust about basic principles of risk management .

I would be very happy to bring in a highly successful college coach......Lincoln Riley, Nick Saban, Urban Myer or some other consistent winner.

LeotisHarris's picture

Aw, Barnacle, is it my way or the highway time in Green Bay? If it is, why not have Greg Schiano ride in on a golden chariot and have him slaughter an animal on live tv before accepting the job? That'll teach the whiners and the lefties a lesson or two about the real world *and* how to win!

As far as those consistent winners go, well, Lincoln Riley just got his azz handed to him, Little Nicky Saban already had a turn on the big stage and prefers Tuscaloosa where he get the best recruits every year, and good ol' Urban was literally on the floor of his bedroom whimpering and whining in his sleep due to the pressures of the job at Florida.

It's professional football, a game played by professional athletes. The list of "consistent winners" from the college ranks who have failed at this level is a long one. I hope there is enough prestige left in the Green Bay job to attract a coach with a demeanor like Mike Tomlin or Tony Dungy, a man who earns respect by how he gives respect.

dobber's picture

I've seen speculation that this might be exactly why the Packers interviewed Pagano and Caldwell: gauging their potential willingness to be position coaches/coordinators to support a college coach or a really green assistant--> HC hire.

Rak47's picture


Holecrap's picture

First, could it possibly be any worse then it is now. Second, he will get other calls too and may not want the packers. Jets, bucks, browns ???
Browns have a young team loaded with one picks ready to break out. Packers are a rebuild project with a lot of needs.
He'll look at our film first to determine how big a challenge this is.
I just don't think guys are going to be tripping to come here. Not to mention, Rodgers isn't a spring chicken any more.

veteranviewer's picture

I am sorry that there is too little rhetoric about Brian
Gutekunst and Mark Murphy sharing the liability for
the Packers ineptness this season with Mike McCarthy. Gutey, in my opinion
did a poor job with his free agent signings and his drafting was mediocre while Murphy hired Gutekunst and then is not letting him do his job. Perhaps the Packers board of directors needs to intervene. Thanks.

Bure9620's picture

One draft is not going to have that big of an effect, Jaire is for real, St. Brown could be a steal, MVS is playing better than most 5th rounders.

Gort's picture

One better than average rookie season does not guarantee a great career.

D.D. Driver's picture

I'm sure there will be plenty of year end assessments. The Murphykunst braintrust struck gold with Jaire Alexander. But on the other hand Murphykunst Traded. For. Deshone. Kizer.

So. Yeah.

Oppy's picture

To be fair, I don't think the "murphykunst" (that's hilarious, btw!) exactly traded for Deshone Kizer.. I think it is more accurate to say that Mike McCarthy and Brian Gutekunst (McKunsthy? Gutecarthy?) came to the conclusion that Randall had to go, and they might as well get a door prize for him.

Research last season- after the game where Randall was sent to the locker room after getting into it on the sideline with one of the vets- a number of Packers veterans held a private meeting to discuss what to do about Randall, who apparently was a massive problem in the locker room. They ended up approaching McCarthy around mid-season and put forth their belief that Randall was such an issue that he needed to be cut for the good of the team. I want to say, but am not 100% sure, that it was Demovsky who reported on this. At any rate, it seems as though MM listened and went to Gutekunst about releasing Randall to hold the locker room together.

My belief is that Elliot Wolf or Alonzo Hightower (who would probably have been privvy to the intent to move Randall) probably reached out to the Packers and offered up a pick and Kizer. I truly believe in light of the story about vets wanting him out that the Packers would have outright released him to preserve the locker room.

Oppy's picture

No one should ever wish the Packers board of directors get involved in football decisions. For a list of reasons why, please refer to this invaluable resource: The two decades bookended by the departure of Vince Lombardi and the hiring of Bob Harlan.

There's three things that make Harlan's legacy:

1) Securing the funding for the Renovation of Lambeau Field and seeing it through

2) Hiring of Ron Wolf

3) Putting an end to the Board of Directors meddling in football decisions, and allowing the General Manager to make all football decisions as he sees fit unimpeded

ILPackerBacker's picture

How do you not understand that this worked because of WOLF and not because of the system? Cause and effect.

The BofD did not come up and trade for John H did they?
It was the inept and incompetent people that got jobs, it was the hiring process that continue today where FRIENDS get jobs despite their prior record.

How has this legacy worked with drooling ted?

Oppy's picture


Maybe you should research the types of amazing football minds that make up the 43 people who comprise the Green Bay Packers Board of Directors.

You'll find all sorts of Green Bay/Fox Valley business men and women who make cheese, sell beer, package vegetables, CPAs, Lawyers, etc etc. And even a retired football player or two. But mostly, just wealthy, old local businessmen who don't necessarily know squat about running a football team.

flackcatcher's picture

Your quite right, but it's too late. Second Murphy fouled up the GM hire, the board started questioning Murphy's judgement, and with his term about to end in 2019 one could see where this was going. My hope is that the committee follows '61 advice, and puts the wall back between the Packer president and GM on football matters, so we never see this crap show again.

Oppy's picture

I agree, Flack.

Exec. Committee interference is bad enough and hopefully will be curtailed. Lord help us if the Board of Directors starts getting touchy feely with football operations again.

John Kirk's picture

Are you saying Murphy is in the midst of an expiring term? I thought he was in until he was 70.

Would love an explanation of how the Packers President's terms are structured.

Bearmeat's picture

The guy messed up Denver for years. He bailed on Indy after committing and hiring coaches. He's a grade 1 AHole, and pretty much every Belichick assistant ever has sucked when he got his own gig.

Hard Pass.

Bure9620's picture

Denver won a Super Bowl after him

Packers0808's picture

Right on with assessment! Trust a guy who stiffed a team, word doesn't seem very good!

mnklitzke's picture

He never signed a contract so he couldn't have hired coaches

dobber's picture

My recollection is that he'd secured commitments from a series of assistants. The Colts honored many (if not all) of them. In essence, he put together a chunk of Frank Reich's staff for him.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

Everyone wants to gloss over that the Colts GM announced it publicly before McDaniels signed a contract or had his exit interview with the Patriots. That's a pretty unprofessional move it's self.

GVPacker's picture

Thumbs Up Bearmeat He's a Jack Wagon and he used a 1st round pick on Tim Tebow! Murphy and Gute also want to talk to Jim Caldwell Yikes thats not good!!!!

4thand10's picture

I think Elway pulls the strings in denver

LeotisHarris's picture

Truth, Bearmeat! Hiring McDaniels would be like hiring Lane Kiffin.

Gort's picture

Let me rephrase that, noooooooo.

Bert's picture

I don't trust Josh McDaniel and I think he will disappoint whoever hires him.

Rak47's picture

If the Packers flirt with McDaniels he'll use the opportunity run up his price tag with another club. That's the type of guy he is.

Barnacle's picture


If McDaniels “runs up his price tag”, that sounds smart. We could use more smarts at Lombardi Ave.

dobber's picture

The bottom line is that if you're in the market, you kick the tires on as many of the best candidates as you can. In this case, the Packers can get him (and maybe Flores) in for an interview while many other teams are still in the process of cleaning out their HCs office.

I don't like him. I really don't want him to be the Packers' coach. I agree with Bert: I think he's going to be a disappointment. But I think they should at least take a look if they can.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

Your right. They have to interview all the best candidates.

4thand10's picture

I think Murphy is just throwing crap at the wall to see what sticks...that’s not leadership. The board should have tossed is arse out too. I’d kick the tires on Greg Williams. He got caught in that bounty hunt scandal when he was D coordinator of the Saints...but at that time they had a good D.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

Greg Williams?

I wouldn't recommend that scum bag in a comment about leadership.

GVPacker's picture

Dobber I agree with your assessment on interviewing a large pool of candidates but I think that you will agree that Bill Belichick's gophers have not faired well with the exception of Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff.

jeepingmakooi's picture

I believe the Texans h.c is from the belichek tree. And don't forget that belichek first time as a h.c. he fails as well.. he is himself a retread.

dobber's picture

I've been beating that drum for awhile, yes. The Hoodie disciples have been uninspiring...and even the Detroit media and fans have pretty much soured on Patricia already.

Bill O'Brien comes from the Belichick tree, but that actually represents a minority portion of his coaching pedigree.

Lare's picture

Looks like a lot of people basing their opinions of McDaniels based on his experiences in Denver and the Colts situation.

Just out of curiosity, what was the real situation in Denver- was he in over his head, did he have mediocre talent to work with, was the GM trying to run the team, how were his assistant coaches?

And what really transpired with the Colts- did the Colts GM jump the gun, did McDaniels change his mind due to family concerns, were there other concerns due to his contract, control of player salaries and talent decisions?

Also, what do his players say about him, how much input does he have on scheme and play calling, is he able to make in-game adjustments based on what opposing defenses are doing?

I guess what I'm saying is that he seems to be near the top of the list for almost every HC opening. There has to be reasons for that besides the fact that he's worked with Belichick and Brady.

Bure9620's picture

Never thought during Rodgers career I would see the Packers miss the playoffs while the Brewers and Bucks make deep playoff runs. Giannis is now the MVP of Wisconsin.

marpag1's picture

Agree. At this point, at least, Giannis should be the MVP of the entire NBA, which would of course include Milwaukee/Wisconsin. There's absolutely no question that right now this season Giannis is far better as a basketball player than ARod is as a football player.

Tarynfor12's picture

Is the HC being hired just for the remaining years with Rodgers or is he being hired to be there with the next QB and different team approach with and after Rodgers?

I want a guy who gets three years of Rodgers but with the future QB sitting and learning during year three and then move on from Rodgers.

I wonder if Lawrence from Clemson wouldn't fit that in two years...if he can be got and he was a freshman this year thus having three years as starter in college.

Swisch's picture

The next coach has to be primarily a leader of men. It's not enough to be a genius with game plans and play calls.
Unless there's a good explanation for what happened with McDaniels and the Colts, there's no way I can get excited about him leading our players, or being the public face of our team.

Bure9620's picture

I think we need to interview Ron Zook for head coach. His management skills are unparalleled. Steve Spurrier as QB coach, Timmy Tebow as OC and Hue Jackson for DC. As long as Zook is in charge there is really nothing that could go wrong...................

flackcatcher's picture

HA! heh heh heh heh.............

PAPackerbacker's picture

The interview process is just beginning. Just because they requested permission to talk to Josh Daniels is an interest in him, not a commitment. And it doesn't mean Daniels is even interested in the HC job in Green Bay. There are other opportunities for head coaching jobs with other teams that he may be interested in. I'm sure the Packers management will interview other qualified candidates when they are available and free to talk to other teams. I don't think the Packers organization would interview a candidate if they didn't think he wasn't qualified to help the team. It will be exciting to see which other candidates the Packer organization considers to lead the team into the future.

AgrippaLII's picture

I haven't got a clue as to who is being considered for HC...but I do know what I want to see in the new HC. I want a guy who lets the OC,DC, and STC do the job they are getting to do. I don't want a HC who thinks he can micromanage everything and in the end manages nothing. I want a guy who manages with the flow of the football game. A guy who holds those under him accountable and deals with it! I'm tired of cronyism!

scullyitsme's picture

I want 3 more stud offensive lineman, as long as the coach is halfway decent we’ll do well. Jason garret sucks but he has a offensive line.

BoCallahan's picture

I believe McBride’s source is Arrigo and Arrigo’s source is none other than Corey Bankhe.

dobber's picture

Too much of what we read anymore is a guy quoting a source speculating on X...and it's really just the source trying to generate interest through speculation. Until someone actually comes in to interview, it's all speculation.

flackcatcher's picture

Drives me nuts. Every so called source is either the coach's agent or the reporters agent who is or has someone close to that agent. No agenda's here. To be honest it is too far early in the process to be naming any HC candidate.

Ferrari Driver's picture

I see no downside to interviewing McDaniels; let him sit with the Packers "brain trust" and make his case. He has a few more years of experience and perhaps with that, he has matured and could be a solid NFL head coach. He did opt out of that Colts job, but I would think that working for Jim Irsay should be one of the least desirable head coaching jobs in the league.

Golden Retriever's picture

Josh McDaniels disqualified himself when he left the Colts in the lurch. Without your word, you’re nothing. Daniels is nothing.

Today I heard one NFL pundit opine that the Packers vacant head coaching position would be less desirable for prospective candidates than Cleveland, Arizona, and Tampa Bay. I hope the Packers don’t have to settle for someone who’s 2nd rate.

jeepingmakooi's picture

I can understand the Cleveland and AZ side but not Tampa... Thier defense isnt that great... Can't be all that great if players are trying to get out of the locker room... They can't figure out who is gonna play QB... It's a mess in Tampa... Cleveland and AZ are only "desirable" because they have rookie qbs and alot of draft Stock.

flackcatcher's picture

Owners and front office play a big role in how HC candidate see each team. Cleveland may be more desirable for that reason. Green Bay may look a bit unstable to the insiders in the NFL HC ranks at this moment. Tough to tell.........

Gort's picture

The effort (or lack thereof) they put on vs the Lions, a divisional and long term rival (longest continuous rivalry in the NFL), tells that tale.

Josh McFibber told his own tale a year ago.

dobber's picture

I understand your sentiment, but I think the HC thing is a 'right guy at the right time' scenario, and maybe moreso now for the Packers with an aging #12 than for a rebuilding team with draft capital and a young QB. As much as people maligned McCarthy in recent years, he was the right guy at the right time and nobody was beating down his door but the Packers. They've got to find that guy, and it might not be the most sought-after guy.

stockholder's picture

Zac Taylor!

Holecrap's picture

With all the firings today the top candidates can shop themselves either looking for mo money, a solid team close to competing, or both. Location climate will play a roll to.
Thus the pack keep philbin to avoid bidding war and save the bucks. Tight assess as they are.

nostradanus's picture

And will McDaniels bolt for the Patriots as soon as Belicheck retires?

Judging from this season and the dearth of talent on this Packers team, this will be a major re-build!

Hire a high character guy who will grow with this process.

I don’t know much about McDaniels but what he did to the Colts was a sign of questionable character

Since '61's picture

The Packers requesting an interview doesn't mean that McDaniels will even accept the interview. Assuming that McDaniels does go for the interview it doesn't mean that he will be offered the job or that he will accept the job if it is offered.

My point is that the Packers have a long way to go before they settle on an HC and before the position is accepted. Speaking for myself I would prefer it if the Packers would stay away from college coaches. Any successful college coach at the head of a major program has no reason to leave that job for the NFL where he would never have the same level of control over personnel and would need to deal with a GM, contracts, high priced free agents, and an owner/ president.

I want a coach with NFL experience and one who has the ability to recruit good assistants and position coaches. The key is building and sustaining an NFL program not learning on the job as a college coach would need to do.

No more Dan Devine's in Green Bay. Thanks, Since '61

dobber's picture

Twitter is starting to buzz over Adam Gase, who was fired by the Dolphins, and that he'll be a hot candidate. Some are already 'linking' him to the Packers (meaning: guys who get paid to generate clicks are putting Adam Gase and the Packers in the same article/tweet).

HankScorpio's picture

I don't know much about Gase. I do know I don't hold the dysfunction of that team against the HC that gets caught up in it.

From a brief read of his Wikipedia page, I see he's still young (40) and has been brought to a new job on 2 separate occasions. Mike Martz brought him from Detroit to SF. And John Fox brought him from Denver to Chicago.

dobber's picture

I honestly think that he's someone that the Packers would be foolish to not have in town to interview (if he wants to be a HC in 2019) in the next 10 days. If the Packer brass says they want to interview 10-12 candidates, I have a hard time believing he's not in that group.

zeke's picture

While the recent track record of college coaches isn’t great, I hope Murphy doesn’t play it safe. If he feels like he has identified the next Jimmy Johnson, he’d better go for it.

dobber's picture

Well stated.

HankScorpio's picture

Marvin Lewis is out as Bengals HC. Presumably that means the great Alex Van Pelt is available.

Things are all falling in to place!

dobber's picture

Maybe we can get Lucy as holder on PATs/FGs.

JimR_in_SoCal's picture

dobber, you should be the GM!

dobber's picture

There would be more cookies and coffee during film review... ;)

Lare's picture

Free beer would make it more interesting.

dobber's picture

The beer would be for weights and conditioning...

JimR_in_SoCal's picture

No beer if you get injured!

dobber's picture

I'd be motivated!

Since '61's picture

Dobber just passed his interview. I say offer him the job. Thanks, Since '61

ILPackerBacker's picture

The problems with Dan D were not hidden. Anyone who paid attention knew he was not fit for NFL coaching and his entire approach was unsuited for professional football. he could not adjust and did not want to adjust.

The entire idea of making pro's watch college tape to learn is just mind boggling.

dobber's picture

"The entire idea of making pro's watch college tape to learn is just mind boggling."

But this IS what they're doing now. They're incorporating pieces (motion, throwbacks, read-option, etc.) that they just haven't traditionally used in the pro game but have used in the college game for awhile, and that's where you're going to find most of the film. I would want my coaches to be turning over every stone looking for ideas and wrinkles that make their offensive schemes harder to defend and defensive schemes harder to neutralize.

PatrickGB's picture

We had a high character guy with MM. I don’t care if the next coach is an azz just as long as the team plays better. I kinda like the idea of McDaniels. But it’s not up to me.

HankScorpio's picture

Speaking of interviews, I hope they can get Reggie McKenzie to take one. And he comes back.

dobber's picture

That will just be viewed as some kind of 'cronyism' around here these days...even though many of the same people lament the decline in scouting since McKenzie, Schneider, et al., left the nest.

HankScorpio's picture

Crony away in this particular case. Even if it means bringing in Raleigh to get Reggie. The brain drain from the scouting department started right about the time people cite for the roster going downhill. We talk about that in terms of mistakes made with player selection. We don't talk as much about whether the system is up to snuff to consistently arrive at the correct player selection decisions--in terms of veterans to sign/re-sign/release and rooks.

I have little doubt that a good dose of experience would be a big help moving forward.

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