As the Browns regroup and reboot their head-coaching search, they’re expected to experience some blasts from the past.
The Browns requested permission to interview Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, the Indianapolis Star reported. Arians was released from a Baltimore hospital Monday after being taken there a day earlier because he is dealing with what is believed to be an inner-ear infection, according to the report.
Arians is one of two former Browns offensive coordinators reportedly on the radar of owner Jimmy Haslam and CEO Joe Banner. The other is Montreal Alouettes coach Marc Trestman, Jason Cole of Yahoo Sports reported.
Haslam and Banner are preparing for the second phase of their quest to find the Browns’ 14th full-time head coach and sixth since 1999 after conducting several interviews last week in Arizona but returning empty handed. The new regime fired coach Pat Shurmur and General Manager Tom Heckert on Dec. 31 after the Browns finished 2012 with a record of 5-11.
The Browns won’t comment on candidates or interviews during their search.
Arians was the Browns' offensive coordinator from 2001-03 before being fired by former coach Butch Davis. He guided the offense in 2002, the only season in which the Browns have qualified for the playoffs during the expansion era.
Arians is also reportedly on the radar of the Chicago Bears, Philadelphia Eagles and San Diego Chargers. He is expected to start interviewing with teams this week, and the Colts have given the Bears and Eagles their blessing to meet with him.
He served as interim coach of the Colts for most of 2012 and guided them to a record of 9-3 and a postseason berth after coach Chuck Pagano was diagnosed with leukemia. Arians, 60, is an NFL Coach of the Year candidate.
Arians has never been a full-time head coach in the NFL, but he was one at Temple University (1983-88). As a wide receivers coach (2004-06) and an offensive coordinator (2007-11) of the Pittsburgh Steelers, he was part of three Super Bowl appearances, including two victories.
Trestman has yet to meet with the Browns but is expected to do so. Trestman, 56, has been coaching in the Canadian Football League since 2008, though he has many NFL stops on his resume, including Cleveland.
Trestman joined the Browns in 1988 as a quarterbacks coach and served as their offensive coordinator in 1989. In Cleveland, Trestman reunited with quarterback Bernie Kosar. Trestman was the University of Miami’s quarterbacks coach in 1983, when Kosar and the Hurricanes won the national championship.
He also was an offensive coordinator for the San Francisco 49ers (1995-96), Arizona Cardinals (1998-2000) and Oakland Raiders (2002-03) before entering the CFL. The Raiders went to the Super Bowl during the 2002 season, when quarterback Rich Gannon thrived in Trestman's West Coast system.
Trestman is also a noted quarterbacks consultant. He worked with Brandon Weeden before the Browns drafted him 22nd overall in 2012.
“I thought it was my most important few days leading up to the draft,” Weeden said in a testimonial on Trestman’s website. “Getting to get up on the board and talk through West Coast systems and then be able to go out on the field and put some of those things to use. Marc is an extremely knowledgeable football mind and with his obvious success everywhere he has been proves that he knows how to develop and teach quarterbacks.”
Last week, the Browns reportedly interviewed former University of Oregon coach Chip Kelly, Penn State University coach Bill O’Brien, former Syracuse University coach Doug Marrone, former Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt and Cardinals defensive coordinator Ray Horton.
Kelly and O’Brien decided to stay in the college ranks, and the Buffalo Bills hired Marrone. The Browns are believed to have come close to reaching a deal with Kelly, their perceived top target, but it didn't pan out.
Haslam and Banner plan to hire a head coach first and then a personnel executive who complements him.
The Browns requested permission to interview Seattle Seahawks vice president of football administration John Idzik, Don Banks of Sports Illustrated reported.
Since 2007, Idzik has served as a salary-cap manager and chief contract negotiator for the Seahawks. He also had stints as the assistant general manager of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the senior director of football operations of the Cardinals.
As previously reported, the Browns also have requested permission to interview Kansas City Chiefs director of pro personnel Ray Farmer, Minnesota Vikings assistant general manager George Paton and San Francisco 49ers director of player personnel Tom Gamble.
NFL Network analyst Michael Lombardi, a reported candidate to head Cleveland’s personnel department, told 92.3 The Fan last week in a radio interview that the Browns had not contacted him, but he “would certainly listen” if they do.
New Browns President Alec Scheiner began working at the team’s headquarters Monday as expected. … Phil Dawson was chosen as the kicker for the 2012 USA Football All-Fundamentals Team, which honors 26 NFL players who exhibit exemplary football techniques for youth players to emulate.
Nate Ulrich can be reached at email@example.com. Read the Browns blog at http://www.ohio.com/browns. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/NateUlrichABJ and on Facebook www.facebook.com.browns.abj.