One thing was painfully clear to see as the Cleveland Browns were dealt a Round 1 loss at the hands of the Houston Texans — that team was well coached. DeMeco Ryans, who is in his first season as a head coach, had a reputation for his defensive prowess but he also put together an impressive staff to run the offense.
Houston dialed up a brilliant game plan that led to several big plays, including a 76-yard touchdown pass to tight end Brevin Jordan. More often than not when the play was dialed up, rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud made the right call — which is what he did all year. That's why it makes sense the Browns would want to poach someone from this staff.
Johnson, who played in the NFL from 2011 through 2016 has been coaching since 2017. He was an offensive quality control coach for two years with the Indianapolis Colts before taking on an assistant quarterbacks coach job with the Minnesota Vikings in 2022. He then joined Houston in 2023, working with OC Bobby Slowik.
Browns have competition for OC candidate
The New Orleans Saints are also interested in Johnson, meaning the Browns are going to have to convince him they're a better fit. One thing that could hurt them will be the fact that Kevin Stefanski is likely going to continue to call plays. For the Saints, Dennis Allen is a defensive-minded coach which could lead to more autonomy for Johnson.
There's also a chance he stats in Houston since Slowik is considered a strong candidate for a head coaching role this year. If he does land one of those jobs, the Texans might be willing to promote Johnson.
Cleveland is also trying to land Duce Staley as their running backs coach. He too will be a tough addition to make with the New York Jets reportedly all-in on hiring the former Eagles and Steelers running back.