Browns to reportedly interview Ken Whisenhunt on Saturday


whisenhuntSan Diego Chargers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt will reportedly interview with the Cleveland Browns on Saturday, according to perhaps somewhat of a surprise report on Thursday.

Whisenhunt, 51, interviewed twice for the Browns head coaching position last year as well. Previously, CEO Joe Banner announced that the team would not be interviewing repeat candidates during this year’s process.

It had appeared that Whisenhunt, former six-year head coach of the Arizona Cardinals, was the presumed favorite for the Detroit Lions opening. His surging team remains in the playoffs, however, opening the door for additional interviews, and New England’s Josh McDaniels pulled out of the running for the Cleveland gig.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter has the report this morning, as Whisenhunt’s busy week lines up before the Chargers play at Denver on Sunday in the NFL Divisional Round:

Last year, CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora reported that the Whisenhunt-Browns talks broke down over the composition of his possible coaching staff. Reportedly, the team’s front office wanted to have input on his staff, a typical process for a rookie head coach, not a veteran. The Plain Dealer’s Mary Kay Cabot later rebuked that claim via a contrasting source. But that process sounds very familiar to many other denials over the past 12 months.

The Browns recently interviewed Green Bay quarterbacks coach Ben McAdoo. They reportedly remain high on Denver offensive coordinator Adam Gase. Now with McDaniels’ absence, there really aren’t a whole lot of familiar names in the current process. That changes with Whisenhunt getting the surprise third try this weekend.

[Related: The Cleveland Browns are playing a high stakes version of ‘This or That’]

Photo: Sean M. Haffey/The San Diego Union-Tribune

  • whosevelt

    Hey, maybe he’ll keep Ray Horton and save Haslam some of the $50 mil he was heroically spending! Doesn’t this add to the buffoonery? Not only do they “realize” they screwed up in hiring Chud, they also screwed up in NOT hiring Whisenhunt?

  • The_Matt_Of_Akron

    And they’re going back on their word about interviewing repeat candidates after McDaniels withdraws from consideration. Which could lead one to believe that McDaniels was “their guy” for this iteration. Which could be viewed as missing out on “their guy” twice in a row, if one believes the Chip Kelly rumors.

  • whosevelt

    Just occurred to me… Does anyone remember the Banner/Reid thing from last year, when people wondered if it mattered to Banner how well Reid did in his new job? Yeah, fun to think about now, isn’t it?

  • JHop

    Seems to me that Whisenhunt might just be using the Browns as leverage to secure his chances and/or increase his pay day with a more desirable HC position (i.e. the Lions).

  • mgbode

    I don’t think there’s much doubt that Chip was their guy last year. My view of the circumstances was they quickly tired of him playing games between Philly, Cleve, Oregon and just left.

    Not sure on McDaniels, but a bit relieved he’s not coming here.

    And, going back on their word is not surprising. See also:

    *Disappointed if we don’t make the playoffs — to lowering expectations before the season — to firing Chud for not competing for a playoff spot.

    *Noone is more impatient than us (while hoarding cap space and trading away draft picks).

    *3-4 is the superior defense — until now Banner says that the new HC can pick his defense.


    Plenty more, but the big ole one:

    “One thing I learned from watching the Steelers is the importance of consistency in coaching, and how much it sets you back when you’re always making a change,” Haslam told SI.com. “When you change coaches, it can be a three- or four-year deal to get back.”


    I’m don’t expect them to tell us all the details or not occasionally spin things. It’s part of their job. But, when everything coming out of their mouths ends up being proven untrue, then everything they continue to say just feels like pandering and I don’t like it.

  • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

    this does have a whiff of leverage gaining, but glad they’re sitting down with him. whisenhunt would be a good get.

  • BenRM

    He won’t take the job, anyway.

    This whole situation is a dumpster fire. I can’t feign support.

  • Natedawg86

    Why would he want to come to Cle if he does not get to pick his D Coord (Schwartz) lol

  • maxfnmloans

    I wonder if it even gets to a sit down, if the other 2 interviews are before the Browns?

    I can see Whisenhunt now, “Well, Mr. Ford (or Mr. Adams, Jr?) I like what you’re saying and all, but I got the Browns waiting for me and they are desperate with a capital D. I can probably squeeze them for an extra couple mill a year AND access to the PFJ corporate jet (they got a good deal on it, I’m told). Whaddya got for me?”

    And since its the Lions (years of incompetence) or the Titans (noobs running the show) I’d be willing to guess someone takes the bait.

    I’m not sure what I think about ol’ Whiz myself. Can see both sides.

  • Jim Gilbert

    seems to me the Browns are reeling and dont know what to do now that their seemingly 1st choice has withdrawn.

  • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

    speaking of fun.. i heard on boston radio yesterday or monday how belichick and haslam both have pads on nantucket and that they were seen chatting with each other before the pats game and so therefore maybe belichick was telling mcdaniels that browns might be a horrible gig.

    ya know what we REALLY need is for haslam to swap franchises with the adams family. that’s right i’d take my chances with the adams family over jimmy. jimmy would be happier too.

  • Garry_Owen

    Going back on their word? Really?
    In a press conference, Haslam was asked if they would interview candidates from last year, and he said “I don’t think so.”
    Man, I know we love to feel offended, but that’s a bit much.

  • Garry_Owen

    But at least we’ll stay warm!

  • mgbode

    well, outside either not knowing if he’d interview Whisenhunt yet or not remembering who is on his list, that one is more of a stretch. But, I got to use it as a jumping off point to the money quote at the end, which bugs me, so I went ahead with piling on.

  • mgbode

    so, you are saying that Haslam IS the man from Nantucket?

  • mgbode

    well, Whisenhunt’s DC is already on the payroll (Horton). wait a second, his DC just helped get the previous coach get fired.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    You think the Browns left the talks with Kelly? I personally think it was the other way around except he used the “returning to Orgeon card” to get out of jail I mean continued dinners.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Actually Banner is the person who answered that question.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    On to choices B through D.

  • mgbode

    here’s the timeline as reported.

    (1) Browns interview Kelly (Friday). Some rumors that he agreed to be HC but he wanted to still interview with Philly.
    (2) Eagles interview Kelly while Browns wait in Arizona. Supposed to have dinner with Kelly Sat. night but he’s still with Eagles, so he puts them off to morning.
    (3) Kelly puts Browns off again, they leave Arizona and remove him from list.
    (4) Kelly puts off Eagles, telling them he’d rather return to Oregon. Kelly returns.
    (5) Eagles apparently look at rest of candidates, are unimpressed and give in to whatever demands were holding up Kelly from being hired (never made known). Kelly tells Oregon that he has changed his mind and is going to the NFL.

    So, you can spin it either way. I think it was Kelly’s decision to not go with the Browns, but the Browns also recognized it and didn’t desperately throw themselves at him once they saw it. Either way, we didn’t get him.

  • mgbode

    missed opportunity to say “choices B to S”

  • The_Matt_Of_Akron

    Connect the dots, man! Connect the dots!

  • Garry_Owen

    Well, shoot, I recant then.
    Wait, no I don’t!
    Banner/Haslam, Haslam/Banner, same creature in my mind.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Dude you have way more time on your hands then you want us to think either that or a memory like a steel trap. Either way part of your job is to enhance my comments not totally disprove them with empirical evidence.

    I swear Alice one of these days…

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Lombardi was under the table tickling the fuzzies which explains why both Banner and Haslam were really uncomfortable. To make matters worse I think Lombardi was wearing his Brownie the Elf costume.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Dude don’t kill my optimism!!!

  • mgbode

    Okay, I recant. And, unlike Garry, I will not recant my recantation.

  • mgbode

    It’s all a conspiracy, man.

  • cmm13

    Rock the HasBa…. Rock the Hasba…..

  • cmm13

    Actually I take it slightly different… McDaniels was the second choice… or fall back guy.
    If they swung and missed on their first choices; Adam Gase, James Franklin, etc. then he would be there no matter what.
    Now he’s not and they are looking for a second fall back guy.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    These two were best buds working hand in glove if you listen to Joe Banner I mean after all they worked together for 14 years right? Except Joe started as a bean counter locked in a closet somewhere sorta like this guy:


    until his knowledge and skill with numbers allowed him to escape. But Banner was greedy he wanted more power for the ring had corrupted this little Hobbit along his journey and instead of becoming the consigliere like he is in Cleveland Banner lost his fight for power against Reid and left Philadelphia never to be seen again. Not until the NFL in all of it’s infant wisdom decided to once again help Cleveland by introducing Banner to Jimmy Haslam.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Garry is a wordsmith he attempts to dazzle the masses while working in the grey area, the area between black and white in other words a lawyers wet dream!!!

  • mgbode

    I thought the reason we HAD to interview playoff candidates during bye week was that the NFL didn’t allow people to interview before their playoffs were over except for that week?

    is this not a rule? and why is SD allowing Whisenhunt to take 3 days off leading up to the Bronco game?

    should I bet heavily on the Broncos?

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Loved that little armadillo!!!

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    They’re creepy and they’re kooky,
    Mysterious and spooky,
    They’re all together ooky,
    The Addams Family

  • The_Real_Shamrock


  • Ezzie Goldish

    All seriousness, he can also point to a team with 5 Pro-Bowlers, more talent in general all-around than those two, tons of cap room and a ton of draft picks. The same stuff the Browns will be pitching to him.

  • Zach G.

    They’re not allowed to make him an offer, but they are allowed to interview. Gase, in a self-less act of class, deferred his interview like a gentleman until his team’s season is over.

  • mgbode

    indeed as he deferred even during the bye week. i don’t like that Whisenhunt is even interviewing in the days leading up to the divisional game.