The Washington Post

Report: NFL will consider rule to prevent coaches’ in-season moves

View Photo Gallery: The mere presence of Josh McDaniels (right) made Patriots Coach Bill Belichick smile — yes, smile — in practice this week. (Winslow Townson | Associated Press)

Not that there was anything wrong with the New England Patriots’ decision to immediately hire Josh McDaniels when he hit the open market, but it’s the kind of move guaranteed to draw the NFL rules-makers’ scrutiny in the offseason.

According to an ESPN report, it will. NFL officials will discuss whether a rule is needed that would prevent coaches from changing franchises during the season.

The hiring of McDaniels, who was freed from his job as offensive coordinator when the St. Louis Rams fired their staff, is expected to be working from press-box level tonight when the Patriots play the Denver Broncos in an AFC divisional-round game. He is expected to be named offensive coordinator when the Patriots’ season ends and Bill O’Brien departs to become head coach at Penn State.

The Patriots’ move raised eyebrows because of the identity of that divisional-round opponent. He drafted a number of Broncos players, including Tim Tebow and Demaryius Thomas, when he was that team’s head coach. He spent the 2011 season with the Rams after being fired in 2010 and the Rams just happen to have faced five teams that are playing in the divisional round.

Again, not that there’s anything wrong with what the Patriots did, but it seems like a good idea to discuss whether that’s a loophole that should be closed. If the Patriots win and keep advancing, it’s going to seem like an even better idea.

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.

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