Anyone who thinks the offseason is quiet hasn't been paying attention. When a team sees its season end, they quickly get to work on trying to improve things for the following campaign. That's exactly what's been going on with the Cleveland Browns who have been incredibly active since their playoff exit.
Cleveland made some tough decisions as they parted with several offensive coaches. They filled a couple of those spots with Tommy Reese taking over as the tight ends coach and Duce Staley signing on to coach the running backs. The last position for them to fill is offensive coordinator and they've been kicking the tires on a lot of potential coaches.
In addition to their search for a replacement for Alex Van Pelt, the Browns also found out four of their own were up for annual awards. Today's news round-up looks at who could take home some hardware, who could be the new coach, and even checks out a roster move.
Cleveland Browns news
Browns with four finalists for 2023 AP Awards — Kelsey Russo, ClevelandBrowns.com
"DC Jim Schwartz is a finalist for AP Assistant Coach of the Year. In his first season with the Browns as their defensive coordinator, Schwartz built a culture among the defense, and it translated on the field as they celebrated their successes as a defense."
In addition to Jim Schwartz being in the running for Assistant Coach of the Year, Kevin Stefanski is a finalist for Head Coach of the Year — an award he won in 2020. Myles Garrett is also on the list as a Defensive Player of the Year finalist. He was voted the winner of the award by the PFWA but this is the one that goes in the record books. Last is Joe Flacco, who is up for Comeback Player of the Year and will go against Baker Mayfield.
Browns set to interview Brian Johnson for offensive coordinator Thursday — Josh Alper, Pro Football Talk
"Johnson was promoted to offensive coordinator in Philadelphia after spending two seasons as the team’s quarterbacks coach. The Eagles finished seventh in points scored and eighth in offensive yards during the regular season, but Johnson was dismissed after a 1-6 close to the season that saw the team get held under 20 points five times."
The work Johnson did with Jalen Hurts had him as a potential head coaching candidate but then the team's decline in 2023 led to his dismissal. He's still a well-respected coach and is known for his work with quarterbacks. Perhaps the Browns believe he can help get the most out of Deshaun Watson.
Kellen Moore set to meet with Browns and Eagles for OC openings, AP source says — Tom Withers
"Moore is exploring other options following Jim Harbaugh’s hiring as the Chargers’ coach on Wednesday. The 34-year-old Moore is the most experienced coordinator and play-caller to meet with the Browns to this point."
Kellen Moore has always called plays as the OC, making this one very interesting. Kevin Stefanski has handled this for the Browns and there has been some speculation he might give up the duties in 2024. If Moore is the selection, that might be the case.
Browns bring former kicker back to Cleveland — Chad Krispinsky, WKBN
"The Cleveland Browns have announced the signing of kicker Lucas Havrisik to a reserve/futures contract. Havrisik started the 2023 season on the Cleveland practice squad but was signed to the active roster of the Los Angeles Rams in October."
Havrisik replaced Brett Maher in Los Angeles nad had a rough time. He was 15-of-20 on field goals and struggled with kicks between 40 and 49 yards. He attempted six kicks from that range and made just three of them. He was 2-for-3 on kicks longer than 50.
Former Browns coach gives harsh assessment of Kareem Hunt — DPD
Stump Mitchell went on a bit of a media tour after losing his job as Cleveland's running backs coach. That might not normally make headline but this time it did. Mitchell was very complimentary of the team as a whole but seemed to have a hard time working with Kareem Hunt, who he suggested was never committed to being the best.