NFL Rumors: Browns Interested in O’Brien, Horton, Marrone

Rumors continue to swirl around the Browns’ head coaching vacancy.

From Jason LaCanfora of CBS Sports, four teams, including the Browns, are interested in interviewing Penn State head coach Bill O’Brien. At 43 years old, O’Brien was 8-4 in his first year at Penn State after five years as a wide receivers’ coach, quarterbacks’ coach, and offensive coordinator under Bill Belichick in New England.

Kent Somers of is reporting that Cardinals defensive coordinator Ray Horton has three other suitors as well, one of them being the Browns, in addition to his current team. Horton has been defensive coordinator for the Cardinals for the past two seasons. Prior to that, he was an assistant in Pittsburgh, Detroit, Cincinnati, and Washington.

Finally, Adam Schefter reports that both the Bills and Browns will interview Syracuse head coach Doug Marrone for their opening. Marrone has coached the Orange for the past four seasons, posting a 25-25 record with a 2-0 bowl record. He was previously the offensive coordinator for the New Orleans Saints from 2006-2008.

Related: Kelly is Browns’ “Clear #1 Choice”

  • Roosevelt

    In a world where there are at least two, and as many as four successful former NFL head coaches available, why are the Browns, who are looking for the strongest, manliest, toughest coach possible because this is a decision that will only be made once and once only because this guy is going to be a take charge guy, looking to only interview college coaches and coaches with no head coaching experience, let alone coaches from mediocre college programs?

  • saggy

    wow – was that one sentence?

  • Roosevelt

    I work out.

  • bossman09

    Did it ever occur to you that there is a reason that the “successful former NFL coaches” are not coaching right now? Do you really think it’s because no one asked them or something? If this was such a simple proposition, why are the other 10 teams without coaches not simply picking up the phone and getting these 4 “successful former NFL coaches” into their program.
    Also, did it not occur to anyone that all these succesful coaches out there were unsuccessful nobodys before they because someone? Name one coach who was born a superbowl champion coach.
    Heck, name one successful superbowl champion coach who switched teams and then went back to win another superbowl.

  • saggy

    these guys have been out of work less than 24 hours, on a national holiday. I kinda think that GMs and Presidents are going to lay-off for a day or two before getting into the search.

    also – the argument about winning super bowls with 2 squads isn’t really a good one. coaches build their “programs” with certain teams, and when they switch up, it isn’t always the same, or they’re not given the same leash length that they previously had to build the thing up his way.

  • The_Real_Shamrock


  • FearTheRoo

    So Arizona was one of the worst teams in the league this season. Let’s get the DC of a team that lost by 58 to freaking Seattle. That defense plays tough!

  • Roosevelt

    Here are some coaches I had in mind, ranked in order of how much I like the as potential candidates.

    Lovie Smith – Went 10-6 this past year and had an overall winning record with a Super Bowl appearance. He is not coaching right now because the playoff permutations ended up with the Bears out, and his team made a poor decision.

    Andy Reid – had a terrible run the last couple years, but also has a strong history of success, including playoff success and a Super Bowl appearance. Runs the same schemes as the previous Browns coaches and current personnel. Admittedly, you could argue that the game has caught up to him – but compared to someone with no record at all, he’s gotta be a better choice.

    Bill Cowher – Okay, I’d like him the best, but I don’t think that there’s really any chance that he’s going to coach again in the Steelers’ division.

    Ken Whisenhunt – Not going to say he’s awesome based on three straight mediocre to bad years, but he has a history as the Steelers’ Super Bowl winning coordinator and he has a Super Bowl appearance as head coach in Arizona, a traditionally awful team.

    And of course there’s Gruden, who’s a story unto himself and whom I think would be a terrible idea, and Dungy who said he’s not coaching again, but who knows.

    If I understand your point correctly, you’re saying that teams shouldn’t hire Super Bowl winning coaches because they almost never win with another team. Which is ridiculous. Furthermore, since coaches are not born Super Bowl winners, it follows that there is going to be an adjustment period – which makes it even more compelling to sign someone who did it well for a long time. Look at Tom Coughlin and John Fox – they had resumes that were highly similar to Reid and Whisenhunt. Meanwhile, there are many, many more college coaches that fail than succeed – college coaches like Steve Spurrier, whose jock Chip Kelly and Doug Marrone (Doug Marrone!) couldn’t carry.

  • CtownDAWGpound

    Rooney Rule !!!

  • Kildawg

    Lovie Smith will also get interviews due to this affirmative action rule named after squealers owners.

  • mgbode

    of those, I like Lovie Smith. no thanks to Reid (if so, then why get rid of Heckert/Shurmur), same with Gruden, and Cowher has been away too long. Whisenhunt and his 3-4 preferred defense?
    I don’t care what “type” of coach we hire though as long as we hire the right guy. I don’t know who that is, but I hope that Haslam/Banner know and they get him.

  • mgbode

    maybe for Horton, but Lovie has a pretty dang good record. he earned anything he gets.

  • Kildawg

    We already have the personnel and similar system for defense and offense that Lovie Smith runs. He is the type of coach that Haslam and Banner are looking for. Maybe Hester would want to follow Smith if we hire him?

  • Geno

    Lovie Smiths only problem was his offense which was in as much of a flux as the Browns. Give this man a good O and he’ll take this team far.