9:36pm: The Dolphins wanted to interview Wilson for a running game coordinator position as well, writes Goessling in a full post, but the Vikings blocked Miami’s and Cleveland’s requests with the hope that they could sign Wilson for 2016 and beyond.
9:13pm: Wilson’s Wednesday interview is almost a formality, according to Goessling, who reports (Twitter link) that Wilson is “all but assured” of landing the running game coordinator position.
8:27pm: New Browns head coach Hue Jackson is still working to formulate a coaching staff, and it appears as though several new hires are close to being finalized. Veteran offensive coordinator Al Saunders is expected to join Cleveland as an assistant, according to Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com, while former Vikings running backs coach Kirby Wilson will interview with the club on Wednesday with an eye toward becoming the Browns’ running game coordinator, per Ben Goessling of ESPN.com.
Jackson and Saunders have a working relationship that dates back to the 2009 season, when both were working for the Ravens (they also worked together on the 2011 Raiders), so it’s no surprise that Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com reported this morning that Saunders was a “strong candidate” to join the Cleveland staff. The 68-year-old Saunders offers more than thirty years of NFL coaching experience, and while he won’t be calling plays (Jackson will do that), he’ll presumably help design the club’s weekly game plan.
Meanwhile, Wilson’s contract with the Vikings expired today, per Goessling, so he is now free to negotiate with any team. Previous reports indicated that Minnesota had blocked Cleveland’s request to interview Wilson, but now that he is no longer under contract, the Browns don’t need the Vikings’ approval. Wilson would add yet another voice — including Sanders and possibly Pep Hamilton, whom Jackson is also said to be courting — to Cleveland’s offensive meeting room.
Of course, Saunders and Wilson aren’t the only coaches that Jackson is reportedly eyeing, as we heard this morning that — after much trepidation — Titans defensive coordinator Ray Horton interviewed for the same position with the Browns. In her report linked above, Cabot confirmed that today’s scheduled meeting did in fact take place.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.