It was reported on Thursday that two teams, the Kansas City Chiefs and the New England Patriots, have requested permission to interview Josh McDaniels for their offensive coordinator openings. There is still no confirmation as to whether or not the Rams have acceded to those requests. At any rate, the news presents the opportunity to clarify a few things about the rules for NFL coaching hires and some additional speculation popping up about McDaniels and the Rams.
Peter King said this about the Rams and McDaniels on Twitter today: "Rams have told Josh McDaniels they won't hold him to his contract. If he wants to leave, they'll let him."
That's not a surprise at all. In fact, it's pretty much standard operating procedure for team hiring a new head coach. That coach gets to bring in the staff he wants. Kevin Demoff said as much in his Monday afternoon press conference when asked about McDaniels' status and future with the team (hat tip to the Rams PR department for getting that transcribed so quickly the other day, they've been a huge help to TST throughout this).
I think obviously we're engaged in a search for a new head coach. That head coach is going to make a decision on their coaching staff. Josh McDaniels is our only coach who's under contract for 2012, so obviously the new coach will have to make a decision on Josh. I'm sure Josh will have opportunities around the NFL to possibly be a coordinator or better throughout this process. It's going to be fluid, but I think we'll figure out what's best for both parties.
It's also a good time for a reminder about the NFL's rules for hiring coaches.
Teams are required to give permission for other teams to interview assistant coaches for a head coaching job, a promotion, as long as it happens before March 1.
Lateral moves are a different matter, and that's worth paying attention to here with regards to McDaniels. A team cannot interview an assistant coach for an assistant coaching job without permission from that team.
So, in order for the Patriots or Chiefs to interview McDaniels for their offensive coordinator positions, the Rams would need to grant them permission. And it sure sounds like the team is willing to give McDaniels permission to interview for other openings, since a new head coach, especially an established guy Jeff Fisher.