It came as quite a surprise yesterday that after only 28 games with the Denver Broncos, the team and their owner Pat Bowlen decided to fire the young coach.
Bowlen had even said a week ago that he believed that McDaniels would at least be the coach to start out the 2011 season, seeming to take a bit of heat off McDaniels.
Nonetheless, the time McDaniels spent in Denver was full of bumbling and stumbling that featured him trading away a Pro Bowl quarterback in Jay Cutler, a Pro Bowl wide receiver in Brandon Marshall and a future Pro Bowler in Peyton Hillis.
He was also slow on the draw to deal with his own staff when the infamous "Baby Spygate" story broke just a few short weeks ago.
With McDaniels out, let's take a look at the NFL coaches that are lurking in the shadows to swoop in and take the job.
The only reason for Eric Studesville's inclusion on this list is the fact that he somehow gained the interim head coaching gig in Denver.
Studesville was the running backs coach for the Broncos for only this season, after stints of the same job from 2004-09 in Buffalo and 2001-03 with the New York Giants.
At this point, Studesville looks to merely be a fill in guy for the time being while the team regroups and, in all likelihood, makes a plan to wipe the slate clean.
Darrell Bevell's name has been thrown around for a head coaching job for a few seasons now, but he has yet to get serious consideration for any position to this point.
Bevell successfully integrated Brett Favre into the Minnesota offense a season ago, but his stock may have taken a hit with the team's failure this season.
He started his career in the NFL in 2000 with an offensive assistant job with the Green Bay Packers until he was hired on as their quarterbacks coach from 2003-05. He landed the O-coordinator gig with the Vikings in 2006.
Bevell is likely to at least get some play around the NFL as a head coach possibility, and it could come as soon as this offseason.
If there is one thing that NFL owners like to hire these days to help their football team, it's a coach with a legacy.
Well, Brian Schottenheimer certainly has coaching in his blood, as his dad Marty was an NFL head coach for 22 seasons and his uncle Kurt has bounced around the league for 23 years.
Brian is a great offensive coordinator in New York, fully integrating young Mark Sanchez into a complex offense that boasts one of the best running games in the NFL.
It is time for the kid to get some job offers, and they may start to roll in as the end of the season approaches.
Perry Fewell has been involved with football on a high level for the past 25 years, starting with his assistant coaching job at North Carolina in 1985.
Since then, Fewell and his stout defensive mind have risen through the ranks, even getting a taste of head coaching a short time ago.
Fewell was given the not so admirable job of cleaning up after Dick Jauron for Buffalo as their interim head coach in 2009, going a respectable 3-4 over the final games of the season.
He has a knack for responding to what opposing quarterbacks are doing and slowing down the passing game of his opponent.
Plus, he's a pretty feisty little guy.
Tom Moore is a guy that has a knack for finding a diamond in the rough, although having Peyton Manning around doesn't hurt much.
In the past two seasons alone he has pulled four receivers out of nowhere to replace injured guys that are falling left and right.
He has been the Colts' coordinator ever since Peyton Manning has been in town, since 1998, surviving two coaching changes in the process.
It is just a matter of time until people realize what a great job Moore has done with the Colts offense and come knocking at his door.
And it may just be a head coaching position that stops his retirement talks dead in their tracks.
Plus, he looks like your grandpa, who wouldn't want that?
Jim Haslett has been around for a while, racking up two NFL head coaching stints in the process, along with an undefeated season in the UFL with the Florida Huskers.
He was the head coach for New Orleans from 2000-05 in which he started out strong, going 10-6, and ended five years later with a 45-51 record.
Haslett then had the unenviable task of coaching the Rams after the firing of Scott Linehan only four games into the season, going 2-10.
He has worked under such great head coaches as Art Shell, Jim Mora, Bill Cowher and now Mike Shanahan.
Brian VanGorder is one of those guys that everywhere he goes, things turn to gold.
During his four seasons as the defensive coordinator for Georgia, the Bulldogs defenses were among the best in the NCAA and some of the best in Georgia's history, while the team gained win after win, eventually earning a #7 ranking in his final season in 2004.
He then spent a season on a Jaguars team that went 12-4, finishing behind the red hot Colts in the AFC South, but making the playoffs nonetheless.
VanGorder then signed on with the Falcons in 2007 where they have steadily improved from season to season after losing franchise quarterback Michael Vick.
Many thought Russ Grimm had won the head coaching job of the Pittsburgh Steelers after Bill Cowher's retirement, leading to a bit of a controversy.
It goes that Grimm had all but won the job until the league contacted Dan Rooney and implored him to award the job to a minority candidate.
The job was then awarded to Mike Tomlin, who was easily as qualified as Grimm and also a front runner for the job.
Whether you believe the reports or not, the fact is that Grimm has been a great assistant for years in the NFL.
If Rex can do it, then why not Rob?
Rob Ryan was Bill Belichick's linebackers coach from 2000-03, where they boasted one of the best defenses in the NFL year in and year out.
He was then one of the only constants for the Oakland Raiders from 2004-2008 as they rode a head coaching carousel, while still boasting a pretty good defense.
He has been the defensive coordinator for the Browns under Eric Mangini since the beginning of last season.
Gary Kubiak has already been tagged as the first choice for the Denver Broncos.
Kubiak has a history of success in Denver, as he was the offensive coordinator under Mike Shanahan for 11 years and was involved in the three Super Bowl victories in Denver.
If Kubiak is willing to give up his job at Houston, there is no question that he would be making huge dollars with Denver, possibly enough to lure him away.