The Browns' search for an offensive coordinator has been relatively quiet, but that changed tonight.
With the NFL's head-coaching vacancies filled and former Green Bay Packers and Texas A&M coach Mike Sherman expected to be named the offensive coordinator of the Miami Dolphins, the Browns appear to be in line to hire former Minnesota Vikings coach Brad Childress as their offensive coordinator.
Although nothing is official, NFL Network's Jason La Canfora reported today that either Sherman or Childress would "land in Cleveland almost certainly" as an offensive coordinator. Sherman is reportedly on the verge of replacing former Browns offensive coordinator Brian Daboll in Miami, so Childress would obviously become the Browns' top choice, according to La Canfora.
Childress, who's pictured above, and Sherman have been logical candidates all along. Both are practitioners of the West Coast offense, have ties to the Browns and are represented by agent Bob LaMonte, whose clients include coach Pat Shurmur, President Mike Holmgren and General Manager Tom Heckert.
It seemed as if it was just a matter of time before other jobs throughout the NFL were filled, and the Browns' pursuit of Childress or Sherman, both of whom reportedly interviewed for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' head-coaching job, intensified and entered the spotlight. The Buccaneers hired Greg Schiano of Rutgers University today, the Dolphins' expected addition of Sherman made headlines and the possibility of Childress reuniting with Shurmur became stronger.
Childress was an assistant coach for the Philadelphia Eagles from 1999-2005 -- he worked as an offensive coordinator during his last four seasons with the organization. Meanwhile, Shurmur served as the Eagles' tight ends and offensive line coach from 1999-2001 and their quarterbacks coach from 2002-08.
"I know Brad very well," Shurmur said Jan. 3 during a news conference. "He and I worked together for a long time. I think he’s a terrific coach, but I’m going to keep my list of (offensive coordinator) candidates private."
Shurmur juggled the roles of a rookie head coach and an offensive coordinator during the 2011 season, and the Browns went 4-12.
Last year, the Browns talked to Mike McCoy and Bill Musgrave about becoming their offensive coordinator, but McCoy chose to keep the same role with the Denver Broncos, and Musgrave decided to accept a job with the Vikings. The Browns did not interview Childress last year, Holmgren said.
With Shurmur calling the plays, the Browns ranked 29th in offense (288.8 yards per game) and 30th in scoring (13.6 points per game). During his season-ending news conference, Shurmur suggested he would relinquish his play-calling duties if the Browns could hire an offensive coordinator he deemed worthy of assuming those responsibilities.
Childress, who became the Vikings' coach in 2006 and was fired 10 games into the 2010 season, has the resume to warrant calling the plays. He went 39-35 in the regular season and 1-2 in the playoffs while in charge of the Vikings.