Browns search for an offensive coordinator just got spicy

CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 01: Head coach Hue Jackson of the Cleveland Browns and head coach Marvin Lewis of the Cincinnati Bengals hug after the game at FirstEnergy Stadium on October 1, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Justin Aller /Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 01: Head coach Hue Jackson of the Cleveland Browns and head coach Marvin Lewis of the Cincinnati Bengals hug after the game at FirstEnergy Stadium on October 1, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Justin Aller /Getty Images) /

The Cleveland Browns will reportedly interview Ken Zampese for the role of offensive coordinator, even though Zampese was fired in Cincinnati because the players revolted.

The Cleveland Browns search for an offensive coordinator took another interesting turn on Wednesday.

According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, not only are the Browns planning to interview Houston Texans quarterback coach Sean Ryan, but they will also bring in former Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Ken Zampese for a sit down:

Ryan has been with the Texans for two season, first working as the wide receivers coach before transitioning to quarterback coach for this past season. Under his watch, rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson was torching the NFL – a league-high 19 touchdown passes and a quarterback rating of 103 – before seeing his season end with a torn ACL.

Related: Browns eyeing coaching, front office additions

Before landing in Houston, Ryan was a coach with the New York Giants for nine seasons, working as an offensive quality control coach from 2007 to 2009, wide receivers coach in 2010-11 and 2014-15, and quarterbacks coach from 2012 to 2013.

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As for Zampese, he worked as quarterback coach for the Bengals from 2003 through 2015 before taking over as offensive coordinator in 2016. He is familiar with Browns head coach Hue Jackson, who was an assistant coach with the Bengals from 2012 through 2015, so there is a shared history between the two.

Actually, we should probably clarify Zampese’s time with the Bengals. While he was offensive coordinator in 2016, he only made it two games into this season before he was fired. In those two games the Bengals did not score a touchdown and totaled just nine points in losing both games.

Sound familiar, Browns fans?

Those numbers led to what Mike Florio at Pro Football Talk described as a “near mutiny” by the Bengals offensive players that forced Cincinnati head coach Marvin Lewis to jettison Zampese.

Once they moved on from Zampese, the Cincinnati offense improved enough to average 20 points per game over the season’s final 14 games, including 31 points and 30 points in their two wins over the Browns.

So, on the one hand, the Browns are looking at an offensive coordinator that helped a rookie quarterback light up the league. On the other, they are looking at an offensive coordinator who was fired after his players allegedly went into open revolt, but has a history with the current head coach.

Sounds like it will be a fun couple of weeks in Berea between Jackson and general manager John Dorsey, the latest front office executive that Jackson is reportedly in lockstep with on the direction of the Browns.

With that happy thought to warm you on a frigid Northeast Ohio day, let’s roll into the final weekly power rankings for the 2017 season.


"No. 32 (no change): Opponent winning percentage: .520; tied for the 10th-hardest. Finishing 0-16 will skew strength of schedule a bit, but the Browns weren’t a good team to begin with. FPI favored Cleveland in only three games, and to the Browns’ credit, they lost two of those games by only three points. (Pittsburgh No. 2, Baltimore No. 16, Cincinnati No. 23)"

Pete Prisco at CBS Sports:

"No. 32 (no change): They did it. They went 0-16. But they have a lot of assets for John Dorsey to fix this thing. (Pittsburgh No. 2, Baltimore No. 13, Cincinnati No. 20)"

Frank Schwab at Yahoo Sports:

"No. 32 (no change): A winless season stinks, but the consolation is the Browns now have the first and fourth picks of the draft. Let’s assume a quarterback will be one of those picks, because it would be outrageous if that didn’t happen (unless there’s some Kirk Cousins overpay coming). So the Browns get Josh Rosen and Saquon Barkley? Josh Allen and Minkah Fitzpatrick? Bradley Chubb and Sam Darnold? Whatever the combination, it’s going to be exciting for a fan base that needs some hope. (Pittsburgh No. 3, Baltimore No. 13, Cincinnati No. 22)"

Elliot Harrison at

"No. 32 (no change): Depending on your view of life, the Browns today are encapsulated by the image of Corey Coleman’s drop … or DeShone Kizer consoling Coleman moments after said drop. What capsized Cleveland was not solely talent (as the players will tell you), or apparently Hue Jackson ( as Jimmy Haslam will tell you), but rather a gnarly concoction of events. None of which matter now. What the Browns do with their picks is the only thing that matters. Going winless in the modern era stinks. It warps the perception of an organization, its legacy and outlook. All of which, at the end of the day, can be absolved with a few smart picks. Consider the 1976 Bucs, who went 0-14, but drafted Ricky Bell and Doug Williams the next two years and then reached the 1979 NFC Championship Game. The 2008 Lions took their first overall pick in 2009, and turned it into Matthew Stafford. How many wins would a guy like Stafford be worth to Cleveland? Go Browns. (Pittsburgh No. 3, Baltimore No. 17, Cincinnati No. 20)"