The Browns interviewed Josh McDaniels on Friday to (seemingly) wrap up their eight-candidate run of meetings. The buzz at the work week’s end fixated on the Patriots offensive coordinator and Vikings OC Kevin Stefanski, but this weekend, other names remain in the mix.
Bills OC Brian Daboll is the sleeper in this process, according to ESPN.com’s Chris Mortensen, who notes Daboll gave a strong interview earlier this week (Twitter link). Additionally, 49ers DC Robert Saleh is not off the radar either. Saleh and Stefanski have been most connected to this job recently, per Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports (on Twitter).
Saleh and Stefanski will match up in San Francisco on Saturday afternoon, and the loser of said showdown will be eligible to accept Cleveland’s offer immediately. While the Browns would have to wait to hire the winner in this matchup, they are not competing against any other team to fill their HC post. The Browns were believed to want to wrap up this search by today, but Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer notes that the team now seeks to table that decision until after divisional-round weekend (Twitter link).
McDaniels left Cleveland without a deal in place, which could be an ominous sign for his chances of securing his job with his hometown franchise. The northeast Ohio native has interviewed for this job three times since 2009. Stefanski wowed Browns brass during last year’s coaching search, but the John Dorsey-led search included Jimmy Haslam preferring Freddie Kitchens. Paul DePodesta, who is piloting this year’s search, has a good relationship with Eagles DC Jim Schwartz. But the former Lions HC’s momentum may have cooled.
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