Since returning to Cleveland in the 1999-2000 season, seven different men have served as head coach of the Browns. And the search for No. 8 isn’t going as smooth as anticipated.
According to NFL.com, the Browns’ head coaching vacancy is being viewed as “radioactive,” where candidates are in no rush to interview for the position after the organization cleaned house of Rob Chudzinski after his staff after one season.
Interested candidates have reportedly contacted Chudzinski to get the skinny about what actually went down in Cleveland at the end of the year, and reports indicate Chud has just been honest with them.
Already, New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels removed his name from consideration for the position, while Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Adam Gase has stated he won’t interview until his team is out of the playoffs.
The Browns still have a serious interest in Gase, who has jumped to the forefront of their search, and have plans to bring in Green Bay Packers quarterbacks coach Ben McAdoo and Auburn head coach Guz Malzahn for an interview.
Last time we checked, the Minnesota Vikings made Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer the top choice to replace Leslie Frazier. On Saturday, the team interviewed a pair of San Francisco 49ers coaches, Jim Tomsula and Greg Roman.
According to ESPN, Zimmer has earned an invitation for a second round of interviews, and the team is expected to bring two other finalists to the Twin Cities for final interviews. Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator Todd Bowles is thought to have a good chance to being a part of that final three.
In Tennessee, the Titans are expected to challenge the Detroit Lions to bring in former Cardinals head coach and San Diego Chargers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt. Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn is still considered the team’s top candidate, and the team is reportedly willing to wait for the Seahawks to complete their postseason run.
Meanwhile, Munchak remains a dark-horse for Lions job and a candidate in Cleveland, but another team is interested in him as well. The Houston Texans would like Munchak to be the team’s offensive coordinator under first-year head coach Bill O’Brien, to the Houston Chronicle reported.
One more name to keep an eye on is Joe Lombardi. The New Orleans Saints’ quarterbacks coach interviewed for the New York Jets offensive coordinator position a year ago, and according to ESPN, Lombardi could be in contention for another coordinator or head coaching gig now that the Saints are out of the playoffs.