JANUARY 26: Johnson has met with the Browns, but he has generated further interest. The Saints will speak with him on Monday, per Dianna Russini of The Athletic. New Orleans has cast a wide net in searching for a Pete Carmichael replacement. The longtime OC held play-calling responsibilities after Sean Payton‘s departure, making the Saints’ vacancy an important one as the team looks for more consistency on offense compared to 2023.
JANUARY 25: Cleveland’s ongoing search for a new offensive coordinator will include interest in ex-Eagles OC Brian Johnson. The Browns will interview Johnson today, Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com reports.
The Eagles, as expected, have moved on from Sean Desai as well as Johnson as part of their staff overhaul. The latter was in place as Philadelphia’s quarterbacks coach for two years before ex-OC Shane Steichen departed to take the Colts’ head coaching position. To fill the vacancy, Johnson was promoted in a move which came as little surprise.
After a strong start, the Eagles suffered a notable regression down the stretch and into the postseason. While struggles on defense were more prevalent, Philadelphia’s offense also took a step back and reports of a rift on that side of the ball emerged before the team’s wild-card loss. After only one season at the helm – during which the Eagles ranked seventh in scoring and eighth in yards – Johnson was let go.
Before that move became official, the 36-year-old interviewed with both the Falcons and Titans for their respective head coaching vacancies. Indeed, a recent report pointed to Johnson being a candidate to land in a new posting relatively soon, although questions remained about what position he could take on. Today’s meeting with Cleveland will be his first interview since his Eagles tenure came to an end.
The Browns dismissed OC Alex Van Pelt among other staffers in a bid to improve on offense in 2024 and beyond. Cleveland finished mid-pack in both passing and rushing yards per game this season, one in which the team’s offense was ravaged by injuries. The new OC’s ability to work with quarterback Deshaun Watson will be a critical factor for the Browns, given Watson’s status as the starter through at least the remainder of his fully-guaranteed contract. Cleveland has exclusively looked outside the organization to date with respect to OC candidates.
Here is an updated look at the Browns’ search: