Let’s just assume current Monday Night Football analyst Jon Gruden is off the board. Reports are that Gruden is looking to come back to coaching, but in a major market with a competitive team. If that is the case, Gruden will not be coming back to his home state of Ohio. So, who are the candidates left for the Cleveland Browns soon to be vacant coaching position?
There is a good chance Jimmy Haslam and Joe Banner could look to the college level for their next hire. Oregon Ducks‘ coach Chip Kelly could be a possibility. Kelly, widely acclaimed as one of the best offensive minds’ in college football today, would bring some emotion and spunk to the sidelines of Cleveland Browns Stadium.
How about Nick Saban? Following his Cleveland ’95 roots, Saban has accomplished just about everything at the collegiate level. One of Saban’s favorite “sons” plays for the Browns in Trent Richardson. Saban gave the NFL a shot once, why not try it again on the shores of Lake Erie? He is a no nonsense coach that would demand instant credibility and respect.
This one may be a reach and is sure to get all kinds of feedback. What if Eric Mangini was once again considered? Hear this one out. Mangini is a better coach than Pat Shurmur. You could arguably say that the Browns would have been better off keeping Mangini instead of hiring Shurmur. The former Browns and New York Jets coach is from the Bill Belichick coaching tree and may be much better the second time around. There are fans in Cleveland that actually miss Mangini. Belichick himself, left a team and was largely successful when he came back to coaching.
There is something strange that is not seen on Sundays. Browns’ Defensive Coordinator Dick Jauron is always in the booth with his eyes in the sky calling plays. Why is that? Could he possibly be sick and we don’t know about it? Not every defensive coordinator calls plays from the box. Either way, Jauron wouldn’t be a terrible choice for the position if he is healthy. He gets his guys to play for him and players know him. It would be a smooth transition.
If the Browns can’t get the evil Chucky, why not go for his brother? Jay Gruden has fire in his veins and is another guy with an offensive mind set. He coaches in the AFC North division and is very familiar with the Browns. Gruden will be a hot commodity come this off season. Haslam and Banner would be smart to include Gruden in their considerations.
In the past thirteen years, not to many of the Browns’ offensive coordinators stick out. However, one that does is Rob Chudzinski. With his creative mind in 2007 as the Browns’ offensive coordinator, the Ohio native helped the offense send four players to the Pro Bowl and Cleveland ranked eighth in overall offense. The personnel on that team is not anywhere at all better than what Cleveland currently has. Currently the offensive coordinator for the Carolina Panthers, Chudzinski would be intrigued to come back to somewhere he’s familiar with.
Hailing from Barberton, OH, Josh McDaniels is my final coaching candidate for the Browns. Although McDaniels is with Belichick in New England, he should jump at the chance to be a head coach again in the NFL. Known for grooming quarterbacks, McDaniels has passion and emotion Browns fans would feed off of. There would be no calling a four yard hitch to the third string tight end in a third and eleven situation from McDaniels. The Browns could use a guy like him.
Most of the Cleveland faithful are ready to go with their Chucky dolls. As much as Jon Gruden would be the perfect fit, it’s just not looking good for Cleveland, especially with larger market teams needing a head coach soon. Whoever becomes the franchises’ seventeenth head coach, let it be someone that shows emotion, that isn’t afraid to speak his mind to the players, that is a leader, that is somebody that truly understands what the fans have gone through, and that is not a conservative bland coach. Thank you in advance football gods.
Ryan Ruiz – Cleveland Browns Writer
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