Latest On Browns’ HC Search

The Browns are no longer competing with any team for coaching candidates, with the Panthers and Giants having made their choices. However, neither hired a coach the Browns were considering. Both were linked to Josh McDaniels, who remains set to interview with the Browns on Friday.

But with Jim Schwartz entering the derby and Kevin Stefanski remaining a Browns target, McDaniels’ status as frontrunner may be slipping. The Patriots offensive coordinator may not have the edge Schwartz or Stefanski, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com notes (video link).

Stefanski wowed Browns brass in his 2019 interview, Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer adds. But then-GM John Dorsey promoted Freddie Kitchens instead. With Browns chief strategy officer Paul DePodesta running this year’s search, the team appears to be seeking analytically geared coaches. Schwartz and Stefanski profile as embracing analytics, per Rapoport.

McDaniels, however, still has support in the Browns building, Cabot notes, adding that DePodesta and ex-Browns exec Andrew Berry (now with the Eagles) would be interested in a reunion. However, Cabot points to said reunion being most likely to commence with Stefanski as the head coach.

McDaniels’ interview will occur Friday — two days after Schwartz’s and one day after Stefanski’s. A northeast Ohio native, the 43-year-old McDaniels has interviewed with the Browns twice before. He met with the Browns during previous owner Randy Lerner‘s tenure in 2009, but the team hired Eric Mangini. McDaniels withdrew his name from consideration after interviewing in 2014, when current owner Jimmy Haslam was in charge. The Browns conducted a lengthy search in 2014; McDaniels was once believed to be the favorite during that process as well. The Browns want to make their hire by Saturday, so second interviews do not appear to be on tap.

Here is where the Browns’ process stands as of Tuesday night, courtesy of PFR’s Head Coaching Search Tracker:

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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26 comments on “Latest On Browns’ HC Search

  1. DePodesta knows if he hires McDaniels and he (McDaniels) has significant input on the GM, then DePodesta is drawing a target and putting it on his back. Those two would have DePodesta ousted and they will try to recreate what they had in NE within 2 years time… with Stefanski or another aligned candidate, less likely.

    • snotrocket

      Did you see the contract the Giants gave out to their new hire nobody had heard of yesterday? That’s why any HC job in the NFL is worth taking.

      • Perksy

        I don’t think any details of the contract came out yet with the Giants and Joe Judge. Are you referring to Carolinas contract with Matt Rhule?

  2. jpz2681

    I’m kind of hoping for the McDaniel’s hire and bringing in O’Connell as his OC, too much unknown with Stefanski only being an OC for a year and having Kubiak as his advisor makes me wonder how much he really ran the offense

    • footballgrl415

      I think McDaniel would be a bad choice. Yes he has experience but under a franchise that is run so different and I don’t see him being a good fit. I see there being problems with how the Browns run their franchise and problems with the GM because Belichick is king and answers to the owners. I see McDaniel having a big problem and not lasting more than one season if he got the job.

  3. Michael Chaney

    Stefanski is probably my preferred choice, but Bieniemy is my other favorite. Stefanski, in particular, has emphasized the run game with the Vikings (and the Browns have Chubb and Hunt), and Kirk Cousins has been one of the best play-action quarterbacks in football this year because of it. Using Chubb/Hunt to set up play action is smart because Baker was forced to play hero ball too much last year and he wasn’t able to succeed doing that. Having Landry and OBJ helps, but forcing Baker to throw 35+ times a game last year was a recipe for disaster.

    Bieniemy is obviously a former running back (which helps since I’m really adamant that the Browns run it more), but he’s also learning under Andy Reid — who has a pretty impressive coaching tree. I’m not really worried that he isn’t the play caller there; Doug Pederson and Matt Nagy weren’t either (Nagy might have called plays for a short time there, but I don’t remember for sure).

    I wouldn’t be totally opposed to McDaniels, but I feel that he’s a bigger name than he is a coach. I’m willing to look past his time in Denver since he’s had 10 years to mature, and I’m willing to look past the Colts situation because his interest in coming to the Browns seems especially genuine. But I’m just not totally convinced that he’s the best option, and I imagine he’d want a ton of power, which is an issue to me. If he brought Caserio with him then that’s fine, but I’m so tired of new regimes cutting ties with everyone on the roster to build the team in their vision instead. (That’s why I wanted them to promote Eliot Wolf, or why I wouldn’t mind Andrew Berry coming back — there’s at least more continuity there.) There’s a lot of talent on this roster; it needs some fine tuning and better leadership, not another overhaul.

    I won’t even bother talking much about Schwartz and Daboll, because I’d be incredibly underwhelmed with either of them. I’d talk myself into it like us Browns fans tend to do, but right now while I’m in a non-delusional frame of mind, hiring either one of them would be a mistake and the type of passive, we-couldn’t-get-anyone-better type coach that would just get fired in another year or two anyway. It’s how they’ve ended up with guys like Chudzinski and Shurmur (he wasn’t highly touted coming out of St. Louis) coaching the team, and Daboll in particular would be just another example.

        • 70sChild

          Your post is fine. People have a hard time reading more than 150 characters nowadays lol. It’s what Twitter has done to society.

        • I was mostly criticizing the formatting. Then I realized the Trade Rumors app doesn’t show paragraph breaks so it just looked like a wall of text, unlike how it displays on the website. My bad

          • Michael Chaney

            I use the app too. It seems like it has bugs from time to time but it’s a lot more convenient than the website, in my opinion.

  4. If the Browns can’t get Mike McCarthy, surely an established coach with a track record of success over time like Jason Garrett would be more useful to righting the ship than taking a shot on assistance with a poor track record when given HC responsibilities?

    In particular, I don’t like Josh McDaniels’s track record as a coach, nor his ethics (leaving the Colts at the altar).

    I’m surprised Kevin Stefanski wants to start his HC coaching career in Cleveland but looks like he could be a good one if he’s able to handle the transition up. If a front office wants to roll dice, Stefanski has real long term potential.

  5. crosseyedlemon

    If Stefanski is still a HC candidate this time next year, would the Bears consider poaching him from the Vikings? Nagy needs to turn things around in 2020 or he could be gone.

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