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With McCarthy off the Board, What’s Next for the Browns

Jimmy Haslam made a point in his season-ending presser to say the Browns are looking for a seasoned NFL coach. Well, the two most seasoned former head coaches are gone. Ron Rivera was never even on the list because Washington went all-in on him. Then comes the news today that Mike McCarthy has signed on to be the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys, so there goes that one. For a team in need of someone to come in and take charge, they lost out on two coaches that fit the bill. Does this mean none of the other candidates will be successful? No. Who is now at the top of the list? Most would say McDaniels but we will see.

Browns Top Candidates

Josh McDaniels

Nancy Lane/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald

It is widely known the Haslams love Josh McDaniels and would like to get him to Cleveland. The Browns owners have asked to interview him in the past and are said to be fascinated with him running the offense. The problem at the outset of this search was that it had been made clear that McDaniels wanted to bring in his own people to pick the talent. With Dorsey here, that was not happening. Not a problem now and likely the reason the Haslams were trying to re-structure. He is easily number one on the Haslams list, and that could trump anything else. If McDaniels wants the job, it is his.

Kevin Stefanski

Courtesy of 923thefan.radio.com

The runner-up during the interviews last year is the analytics favorite. That places him atop Paul DePodesta’s list per reports. The Haslams have said that Paul is spearheading the head coaching search. If the owners don’t jump in, this could be a good thing as his previous favorite Scott McDermott, has found success in Buffalo. Does that mean success for the young offensive coordinator? No, but the Haslams need to trust the people they choose even if they fail…a lot. Stefanski is doing a great job in Minnesota with the offense as they move past the Saints to face 49ers. Could he actually be the number one choice?

The Rest

The other candidates still out there are Greg Roman, Eric Bienemy, Robert Saleh, Brian Daboll, among others. To move to the top of this list, one of them will have to wow the entire hiring team. While I am sure an executive like DePodesta is doing due diligence, he clearly has a favorite sitting out there, and so do the Haslem’s. As the search continues and more coaches come off the board, the excitement will build. The hope here is it doesn’t take to much longer so we can get the front office together and start preparing for next year.

Why Would you Come to Cleveland?

The talent is really the only thing along with it being an NFL job. Until the Haslems actually stick to a plan this will be the job you take because no one else is really giving you a chance. John Dorsey brought in a lot of young talent, gone. Regardless of whether they deserved it or not Freddie Kitchens and Rob Chudzinski were given one year and gone. None of the top four jobs have ever had the same people in place for two years. These are all of the facts that could hinder your coaching search. I guess we will have to wait and see if it does for the Browns this year.

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