The Browns named Joe Cullen defensive line coach, Louie Cioffi defensive backs coach and Shane Steichen offensive quality control coach Tuesday.
“I am excited to have Joe, Louie and Shane as part of our staff,” new Browns coach Rob Chudzinski said in a statement. “And [I] believe that their knowledge of the game and coaching ability will be great assets to our players.”
Cullen spent the past three seasons holding the same job with the Jacksonville Jaguars. He previously coached the Detroit Lions’ defensive line from 2006-08 and has 17 seasons of college coaching experience. He replaces Dwaine Board, who spent the past two seasons with the Browns. In 2012, the Jaguars finished last in the league with only 20 sacks.
“Joe has been an outstanding coach throughout his career,” Chudzinski said. “I was very impressed with the way he has been able to develop young players both at the collegiate level and at each of his two stints in the NFL. And his ability as a teacher will benefit our players as well.”
Ray Horton was named the Browns’ new defensive coordinator on Friday. He employed a 3-4 scheme during the past two seasons as the defensive coordinator of the Arizona Cardinals. The Browns used a 4-3 system the past two years under the guidance of Horton’s predecessor, defensive coordinator Dick Jauron.
Cullen, 45, will serve as one of Horton’s assistants, thanks in part to some opportunities for redemption. When he was coaching the Lions, two alcohol-related incidents threatened his career.
The night before a preseason game in 2006, Cullen was charged with indecent and obscene conduct for pulling up to a Wendy’s drive-through in Dearborn, Mich., while driving an SUV naked.
“Well, it’s simple; it’s called a blackout, so I don’t know,” Cullen told the Florida-Times Union in 2010. “When you have a blackout, bang. You realize through being educated [about alcohol consumption] that you drink too much. I’m sure there’s a lot of incidents out there where people don’t remember a thing they did the night when they were drinking. That’s basically what happened.”
Eight days after the infamous Wendy’s episode, Cullen was charged with drunk driving in Michigan.
The Lions didn’t fire Cullen, but the NFL fined him $20,000 and suspended him one game for conduct detrimental to the league. In 2007, a judge sentenced him to two years of probation and ordered him to attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings twice a week. Cullen also participated in the NFL-sponsored alcohol rehabilitation outpatient program from September 2006 until July 2007.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell endorsed Cullen in letters to teams because he fully complied with the obligations the league imposed on him and undertook several others on his own. Cullen, who played nose guard at the University of Massachusetts from 1986-89, coached the defensive line at Idaho State University in 2009 before joining the Jaguars in 2010.
Cioffi and Horton will coach together for the third time. Cioffi served as Horton’s defensive backs coach for the past two years with the Cardinals. Cioffi spent 14 seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals and was a defensive assistant for them when Horton was their defensive backs coach from 1997-2001.
Cioffi, 39, helped the Cardinals finish fifth in passing defense (200.8 yards allowed per game) last season. He replaces Tim Hauck, who spent last season with the Browns.
“Louie is very well respected in the NFL,” Chudzinski said. “He possesses extensive experience working alongside some of the top defensive coaches in this league. He has worked closely with Ray [Horton], which will be a big advantage for our team.”
Steichen, 27, spent the past two seasons as a defensive assistant with the San Diego Chargers. New Browns offensive coordinator Norv Turner was the head coach of the Chargers for the past six seasons. Steichen has also worked as an offensive assistant for Louisville and Nevada-Las Vegas, where he played quarterback.
The Browns still have openings for coaches to guide the following positions: quarterbacks, running backs, tight ends and linebackers.
The Carolina Panthers interviewed Browns linebackers coach Bill Davis for the same position Monday, the Charlotte Observer reported. … Turner’s introductory news conference is scheduled for 11 a.m. today in Berea.
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.