The Cleveland Browns have started their latest coaching search and have scheduled interviews with week with Adam Gase and Teryl Austin.
The day after another season-ending loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers kicked off another franchise reboot for the Cleveland Browns, the team was preparing to open the third coaching search under owner Jimmy Haslam.
The club will used a search committee made up of Haslam and his wife, Dee; executive vice president of football operations Sashi Brown; and Jed Hughes, a consultant from Korn Ferry, to find the 16th full-time head coach in franchise history.
“There are several key criteria we’re looking for in our head coach,” Haslam said Sunday night. “The first is intelligence. We need somebody that’s smart. Obviously, we need somebody who’s a strong leader, somebody who is collaborative and can work well with others, a good team player, if you will.
“An individual that can put together a good staff, that’s incredibly important in today’s NFL as a complex as the game is, and somebody who has an intense desire to win and improve every day.”
Sounds easy enough.
According to NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport, Bears offensive coordinator Adam Gase, Jaguars offensive line coach Doug Marrone and Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin will be the first names the search committee contacts about the vacancy.
The Browns are not the only team looking for a head coach, of course, as the New York Giants, San Francisco 49ers, Philadelphia Eagles, Tennessee Titans and Miami Dolphins are also in the market for a new man on the sidelines. Depending on how things go in New Orleans and Indianapolis, the Saints and Colts may also join that list.
While no one wants to see the Browns rush into a hiring, the more time they take the shorter the list of potential candidates (which may already be pretty short) will naturally become.
According to USA Today, the Browns will interview Gase and Austin on Jan. 6, and Marrone at a date to be determined. Cleveland is also interested in interviewing Cincinnati offensive coordinator Hue Jackson, according to NFL Media’s Rand Getlin, which puts Browns fans in the odd spot of possibly rooting for the Pittsburgh Steelers this weekend to knock the Bengals out of the playoffs so Jackson can start interviewing.
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The Eagles will interview Gase on Jan. 5, and the Dolphins have also scheduled time with Gase and Austin at a date to be determined.
Once the Browns hire a coach, the search committee will turn its attention to the general manager position, but there may be a slight hiccup in that process.
Because Haslam gave Brown final say over the 53-man roster, other teams can, if they so choose, prevent their scouts or assistant general managers from interviewing with the Browns.
According to NFL.com, a “rival executive” said that he expects to hear from the Browns about a candidate and planned to turn the Browns down on the spot.
Seems like a petty thing to do to block one of your own people from pursuing another job, but apparently that is how some people operate in the NFL.