Updated at 3:20 p.m.
The Browns began talking to former Washington Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan this morning about their opening for a play-caller, ESPN.com’s John Keim reported this morning, citing multiple unnamed NFL sources.
Shanahan has an interview scheduled with the Browns on Wednesday, a league source confirmed for the Beacon Journal this afternoon, speaking on condition of anonymity because the team has not publicly commented. ESPN's Chris Mortensen first reported the interview was set.
New Browns coach Mike Pettine has a background in the NFL as a defensive assistant and coordinator. Pettine plans to call the defense’s plays this year despite hiring former Buffalo Bills linebackers coach Jim O’Neil as his defensive coordinator Monday.
In other words, the hiring of Pettine’s offensive coordinator is vital. Not only will the successful candidate call the offense’s plays, but he also should be instrumental in helping the Browns target a quarterback this offseason, almost certainly in May’s draft.
Shanahan has been passed over twice this offseason for offensive coordinator jobs for which he interviewed. Instead of picking Shanahan, the Baltimore Ravens hired ex-Houston Texans coach Gary Kubiak on Monday and the Miami Dolphins hired former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback coach Bill Lazor on Jan. 15. According to reports, Shanahan will not join Kubiak’s staff in Baltimore despite speculation about him possibly doing so.
The Redskins fired Shanahan along with his father, Mike, the team’s former head coach, after they went 3-13 during the 2013 season.
The younger Shanahan, 34, had been the Redskins’ offensive coordinator since 2010. He also served as the offensive coordinator of the Texans from 2008-09.
Shanahan’s offenses finished in the top 10 in the NFL in yards per game four times – 2008 (third), 2009 (fourth), 2012 (fifth) and 2013 (ninth). The other two seasons were 2010 (18th) and 2011 (16th).
Shanahan’s reputation was damaged this past season partly because trust issues reportedly surfaced between the Redskins’ coaching staff and quarterback Robert Griffin III, creating friction between the two sides.
Oakland Raiders quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo is another offensive coordinator candidate who has received interest from the Browns, NFL Network’s Albert Breer reported Monday night. DeFilippo is scheduled to interview with the Browns for their offensive coordinator job on Thursday, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported today.
DeFilippo, 35, is in his second tour coaching the Raiders’ quarterbacks. He did it from 2007-08, left for a job with the New York Jets and then returned to fill the same role for the Raiders in 2012. DeFilippo, a Youngstown native, also coached at San Jose State for two seasons, serving as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach in 2011.
Ex-Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains and Chicago Bears quarterbacks coach Matt Cavanaugh have also been mentioned as potential candidates to join the Browns as a play-caller.
Breer reported today that the Browns also considered Baltimore Ravens wide receivers coach Jim Hostler for their offensive coordinator vacancy, though he may be out of the mix now. Hostler interviewed for the Ravens' offensive coordinator position before they chose Kubiak instead.
The Dallas Cowboys hired former Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Scott Linehan as their play-caller. But the Cowboys still won’t let Bill Callahan, who called their plays last season, out of his contract, according to reports that surfaced Monday. Callahan had been mentioned as a potential candidate for the Browns’ offensive coordinator opening.
Louisiana State offensive coordinator Cam Cameron Cameron told the Times-Picayune that the Browns showed interest in him last week, but he won’t be joining them.
“I don’t plan on going anywhere soon,” Cameron said Sunday. “I don’t want to uproot my family right now.”
Anthony Weaver will leave the Buffalo Bills to become the Browns’ new defensive line coach, FootballScoop.com reported this afternoon.
On Monday, Bills coach Doug Marrone said he didn’t “feel good about” Weaver staying with the Bills. Weaver would become the fifth assistant coach Pettine has hired from the Bills' staff. Pettine spent the 2013 serving as the Bills’ defensive coordinator.