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Saturday, January 4, 2014
Interview with McDaniels is Saturday

By Pat McManamon

The Cleveland Browns brass is headed to New England to interview Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels on Saturday.

McDaniels
McDaniels
McDaniels chose not to interview with the Browns a year ago but this time will speak with the team. He cannot be hired until the Patriots are out of the playoffs.

McDaniels' stock with Denver was high in 2009, as he started 6-0 with the Broncos. But his reign quickly fell apart as the Broncos lost 17 of the next 22 games and McDaniels was implicated in illegally filming a 49ers walk-through.

He went to St. Louis for one year before returning to his roots, working with Bill Belichick in New England.

Mike Lombardi -- then working for NFL.com and the NFL Network -- wrote a passionate defense of McDaniels in 2010, saying the Broncos did not give him a chance to completely install his system and instead reverted back to Denver's old ways.

" ... when coaches leave an established program like the one in New England, not every owner is willing to embrace the time it takes to lay the foundation," wrote Lombardi, now the Browns' general manager.

That statement seems oddly ironic now.

Alas, we digress.

Lombardi clearly believes in McDaniels. But in Denver, McDaniels wanted and received major say in personnel. One of his decisions was to trade Jay Cutler and bring in Kyle Orton. Brandon Marshall was eventually traded as well -- Marshall has had seven 1,000-yard seasons in a row and has averaged 1,258 since the trade.

With the Browns, CEO Joe Banner oversees football, which means he oversees personnel.

Whether Joe Banner can work out an arrangement with McDaniels, and whether McDaniels can agree to Banner's structure, might be a major point in the discussions.