Browns Begin Work on Assembling New Coaching Staff

As the Ravens and Steelers prepare to play for the right to head to yet another AFC Championship game, the Browns organization is searching to replace yet another coaching staff.  The Browns introduced their head man yesterday but the process of filling out the rest of the staff, including the all-important positions of offensive and defensive coordinator, remains.

It was reported yesterday that current Browns defensive coordinator Rob Ryan was  being pursued by the Dallas Cowboys for their defensive coordinator position.  Ryan, who technically could remain with the Browns and has one year left on his contract, had entered into negotiations yesterday with Dallas and it is likely he will land there within the week.  That would leave a void at DC that many are speculating the Browns will fill with current Eagles Defensive Backs coach Dick Jauron.

Jauron worked with Holmgren in Green Bay in the same role as a DB coach .  In the interim, however, he has been a head coach in both Chicago and Buffalo, achieving moderate success at the former.  Shurmur, despite his Uncle’s legacy, does not have much experience or background working on the defensive side.  Yesterday at his press conference, Shurmur joked:

“There’s a defense? Typically I don’t tell jokes but no we have talked about that. We’ve talked about that to great length already but again as we move forward we’re going to do the things necessary to build a very, very fine defense. That’s obviously a very, very important piece of what we need to get done.”

Jauron would likely switch the Browns from the current 3-4 system they employ to the 4-3 defense that is his preference.  While the Browns current personnel is largely suited for the 3-4, I think the priority has to be getting the best coach and then adapting to his abilities and preferences.

Defensive schemes would not be the only glaring contrast between Ryan and Jauron.  While head coach of the Bears and Bills, he was considered perhaps the most boring coach in the league – a far cry from the soundbites Rob Ryan consistently offered up. While unemotional and soft spoken, the Yale grad has often been referred to as one of the smartest men in football and his experience, on a side of the ball where Shurmur has little, would be a welcome addition to the staff should Ryan depart.

In addition to Jauron, Terry Pluto threw out the names of Dave Wannstedt and Mike Singletary as potential options a defensive coordinator.  I think Wannstedt could succeed in that role but I would be less enthusiastic about Singletary after the debacle in San Francisco this past season.  It appears, however, with former ties to Holmgren once again playing a role, that Jauron has the inside track for the position.

Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy has emerged as a candidate on the offensive side of the ball.  McCoy is represented by close Holmgren friend, Bob Lamonte.  Shurmur made it clear yesterday that, at least initially, he plans to call the plays on the offensive side of the ball.  McCoy would be an offensive coordinator and function largely as the quarterbacks coach.  There is a good chance, however, that he remains in Denver alongside new Broncos coach John Fox.  He has previously worked with Fox in Carolina and Fox expressed a strong desire to keep him on board in Denver.

While the offensive playcalling has been Browns fans greatest source of frustration over the past two years, the priority hire here is the defensive coordinator.  There was significant progress made on that side of the ball this season under Eric Mangini and Ryan.  The offense will continue to be a work in progress but they have to avoid a regression on defense during this staff turnover process.  Shurmur’s offensive background makes the OC hire a less pressing issue but Holmgren, Heckert, and the new coach have to get it right on the defensive hire and transition.

***Update:  Jason LaCanfora reports that the Rob Ryan deal in Dallas is almost certain to be done this weekend and he will be their next defensive coordinator.  In addition, Josh McDaniels is likely to land in St. Louis and fill Pat Shurmur’s old role.

****Update #2: LaCanfora is now reporting that McCoy will stay with Denver next season as their offensive coordinator.

  • Shamrock

    If the switch to a 4-3 is made I’d be happy with almost any DOC. BTw Mike MCCoy coaching Colt McCoy, interesting.

    The only thing i hesitate over is all of the ties to Holmgren. I understand it but it makes me think of the past New England connections with hiring of Crennel then Mangini. The Cavaliers with the Spurs duo. Hasn’t worked so far but maybe the third time, for Browns, will be the charm.

  • bobby

    I want Jauron on D. And actually, PFT reported Jauron as saying that he is not strictly 43 and he could run a 34 if the personnel fits better. Personally I think Heckert needs to ship out (cut) 1/2 the LBs and get a DE pass rusher in the top 2 rounds, depending on AJ Green.

  • Cgutta
  • HoosOnFirst

    Nobody is talking about what may be the most important hire as a coordinator — keeping Brad Seeley as Special Teams Coordinator.

  • OmegaKing

    If we switched to the 4-3, imagine a health Rogers and Rubin up the middle? Eeek!

  • 6thCity

    Daboll may stay on at “OC”but function as quarterbacks coach… wouldn’t that be hilarious. There’s a bit of a shortage happening out there.

  • Lyon

    I wouldn’t mind giving Singletary the DC job. He wa sa hell of a player and seemed like a decent coach. Thankfully he wouldn’t have to worry about the offense and could just hand the D.

    But the idea of Jauron as DC doesn’t bother me either.

  • http://gravatar.com PayDaMan

    McDermott of the Eagles has been fired. Im guessing Jauron stays with the Eagles and we get McDermott as our DC

  • Shamrock

    @5 Exactly why I liked the 4-3 besides the fact it means one less LB or you use the hybrid LB/DE as your pass rushing DE.

    I’d rather have Jauron no clue on other guy from Philly.

  • Alex

    The Wannstache would be great. Would love to have him. Nobody else is particularly exciting.

  • VooDoo

    Please tell me you are kidding about Daboll as QB coach? If anything he probably retarded McCoy then helped. Mangini’s job was lost largely due to his buddy Brian Daboll. I get chills just imagining such a possibility. Shurmur could mentor McCoy more and that’s after being the head coach and offensive coordinator.

    I like Dave W. for the DC position. Get him back in the NFL doing a job that he was best at, not head coaching.

  • s-devo

    Any mention of Jeff Jagodzinski? he recently got fired from Omaha in the UFL. He coached in Green Bay after Holmgren left. He’s gotten around the last few years.

  • EdgewaterJoe

    McCoy’s staying to work with Tebow? HAHAHAHAHA! That tells me that guy doesn’t know what the Hell he’s doing if he prefers to work with that guy over Colt.

    Good riddance to a Daboll-like dunce, AFAIC.