Browns still searching for ‘proven winner’

January, 8, 2014

Jan 8
2:54
PM ET
By Pat McManamon | ESPN.com
 
 
Josh McDaniels, the New England Patriots offensive coordinator, interviewed to be the Cleveland Browns coach on Saturday.Five days later, he decided to stay in New England.Which answers a question that a few days ago seemed unanswerable: Why would a coach working in a good situation with an all-time great quarterback and Hall of Fame mentor want to take a job with a losing team that fired its coach after one season?

The answer: He wouldn’t.

The news that McDaniels withdrew came from ESPN’s Adam Schefter, who reported McDaniels had an excellent conversation with the Browns, but decided he was better off with the Patriots.

McDaniels’ one experience as a head coach in Denver ended poorly. At the age of 37, he doesn’t need to take a chance with another risky situation, which clearly is the situation in Cleveland.

Which leaves the Browns a ways from the “proven winner” they said they would hire when they started the coach search.

They spent Wednesday talking to Green Bay quarterbacks coach Ben McAdoo. He’s never been a coordinator, much less a head coach. Though most in the league feel McAdoo is not ready, Browns CEO Joe Banner was with the Eagles when Jeff Lurie hired an unknown quarterbacks coach from Green Bay named Andy Reid.

The Browns also have interviewed Seattle defensive coordinator Dan Quinn and Arizona defensive coordinator Todd Bowles. They have asked for permission to talk to Denver offensive coordinator Adam Gase, but he has declined to talk until Denver is out of the playoffs.

The Browns have been rumored to be interested in Vanderbilt’s James Franklin and Auburn’s Gus Malzahn. But Franklin has been linked to Penn State and he met with his Athletic Director at Vanderbilt on Tuesday night.

Malzahn agreed to a contract extension at Auburn on Dec. 7.

In addition, rumors that the Browns were interested in Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops turned out to be untrue.

Where this leaves the Browns is anyone’s guess.

A search is never over until it’s over — to paraphrase Yogi Berra — and the Browns may have a surprise up their sleeve.

But if they don’t, they are left with some names that haven’t exactly inspired the fan population.

It doesn’t mean the new coach can’t win, but it does make what is already a tough sell a little tougher.

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3 Responses to “Browns still searching for ‘proven winner’”

  1. Sage says:

    Too bad, because this seemed like the clearest path for Tebow to get back inside the NFL.

    I can readily see, though, why McD thinks he should take more time before accepting another HC job. IMO, he might make a better GM than HC. He’s got the smarts to run an organization and to select good personnel. Relating with players on the sideline might be his biggest challenge.

    • Brandi says:

      JoshMcD has seen enough to know the Coaches who cut themselves off the Belichick Tree fare less well than those who are turned into new Branches by BB Himself.

      Cleveland Fans are GREAT. 2nd too none. But the Mistake on that Lake has been the Organizations who Own/Run their Sports Teams.

      No matter how many “All is Well” comments are made about the Browns Ownership situation, all is NOT well. Jimmy Haslam accepted a #2 who has made no effort to conceal the fact that he wants to be the Owner of the Cleveland Browns.

      Without Joe Banner, the Browns are a very tricky place for any Head Coach. With him, it’s a ticking time bomb with a Mad Bomber holding the trigger switch.

      Jon Gruden can go there and instantly have enough support from every walk of NFL Life to MAYBE keep that Organization from sinking into the Lake. Mere Mortals who fill this opening are simply looking for a stepping stone to a better Head Coaching job with a Franchise that isn’t trying to destroy itself when their inevitable departure takes place.

      If JoshMcD didn’t know this on his own, his Buddy Belichick would certainly make sure he understood.

    • The Mascot Army says:

      Remember when the best evidence Denver had to boot McDaniels was all his draft pick “busts”? A little hindsight has given all those cocksure bigmouths of the time selective amnesia.

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