Browns offensive line coach George Warhop has reportedly survived yet another regime change, a testament to the job he has done in Cleveland since 2009.
New Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid targeted Warhop, and the two sides were in serious negotiations before Warhop decided to stay with the Browns as a member of new coach Rob Chudzinski’s staff, ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported today.
Warhop was the San Francisco 49ers’ offensive line coach in 2006, when ex-San Diego Chargers coach Norv Turner was the 49ers’ offensive coordinator. Chudzinski is expected to name Turner his offensive coordinator, meaning Warhop and Turner are set to reunite in Cleveland.
Former New York Jets offensive coordinator Tony Sparano was going to meet with the Browns about coaching their offensive line until Warhop decided to stay put, Mortensen reported. Now Sparano is scheduled to interview with Reid and the Chiefs on Monday.
Warhop, 51, joined the Browns four years ago as part of Eric Mangini’s staff. Mangini was fired following the 2010 season, though Warhop became one of four assistant coaches retained by Pat Shurmur.
Owner Jimmy Haslam and CEO Joe Banner fired Shurmur on Dec. 31 and hired Chudzinski on Thursday night. Despite another radical makeover for the Browns, Warhop will be back to lead the offensive line, which is widely regarded as one of the strengths of the team.
Six teams have asked the Browns for permission to interview special-teams coordinator Chris Tabor, only to have those requests denied, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported today. In other words, the Browns are trying to retain Tabor.
The Chiefs, Oakland Raiders, Detroit Lions, Chicago Bears, Carolina Panthers and Indianapolis Colts have all been rejected by the Browns, according to the report.
After Shurmur was hired, he called Bears special-teams coordinator Dave Toub, who recommended Tabor, his assistant at the time. Shurmur hired Tabor, 41, in 2011 to replace Brad Seely, who moved on to a job with the 49ers and is regarded as one of the best special-teams coaches in the NFL.
The Browns’ special teams suffered several letdowns in 2011 but improved during Tabor’s second season in Cleveland.
In 2012, the Browns ranked 12th in average drive start after kickoffs (22.8) and tied for first in average opponent drive start after kickoffs (19.9). Josh Cribbs ranked sixth among punt returners (12.0 average) and tied for fourth among kick returners (27. 4 average).
Reggie Hodges finished with the third-worst net average among punters (37.1 yards). But Phil Dawson made 29-of-31 field goals (one was blocked) and was selected to the Pro Bowl for the first time in his 14-year career.