By Nate Ulrich
Beacon Journal sports writer
The Browns are expected to hire Kyle Shanahan as their offensive coordinator, but a team spokesman said new coach Mike Pettine has yet to make a final ruling on his search for a play-caller.
“Mike Pettine has not made the decision,” the spokesman said Saturday afternoon. “He’s had some solid interviews, but that determination has not been made.”
Alex Marvez of Fox Sports, citing an unnamed source, reported earlier Saturday that the Browns had hired Shanahan. Several other media outlets reported the contract has not been finalized, but it’ll become a done deal once Shanahan returns from a vacation.
Shanahan, the former offensive coordinator of the Washington Redskins, would become the offense’s play-caller if a deal is sealed as expected. Pettine, who was hired Jan. 23, said he will call the plays for the defense this year, even though he hired former Buffalo Bills linebackers coach Jim O’Neil as a defensive coordinator Monday.
The 34-year-old Shanahan also would be crucial to the team’s quest for a long-term solution at quarterback. The Browns have the fourth overall pick in May’s NFL Draft and will likely target a quarterback early.
Shanahan interviewed with the Browns on Wednesday. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported Thursday that Shanahan’s interview “did not exactly go as planned” and that the Browns had likely moved on from him.
However, a league source told the Beacon Journal Saturday morning that Shanahan was still under consideration for the job. The source spoke on condition of anonymity because the team had not commented on candidates during the search. Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports also reported that the Browns never moved on from Shanahan.
Shanahan served as the Redskins’ offensive coordinator from 2010-13. The Redskins fired Shanahan and his father, Mike, their former head coach, after the team went 3-13 last year on the heels of a playoff appearance the previous season. The Shanahans’ well-documented clash with quarterback Robert Griffin III also tarnished their reputations.
The younger Shanahan interviewed this offseason with the Baltimore Ravens and Miami Dolphins for their offensive coordinator jobs. Both teams passed on him.
Shanahan uses a version of the West Coast offense. The system features elements of a vertical passing attack and the zone-running scheme that Shanahan’s father is famous for employing. The pistol formation and read option also became staples of the Redskins’ offense with Griffin behind center.
Before joining the Redskins, Shanahan was the Houston Texans’ offensive coordinator from 2008-09. In four of the six seasons in which he has been an offensive coordinator, his offenses have finished in the top 10 in the league in yards per game.
The only other candidate known to interview for the Browns’ offensive coordinator job is Oakland Raiders quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo, 35. A Youngstown native, DeFilippo met with the Browns on Thursday.
Shanahan is on track to join a few offensive assistants who have already been hired by the Browns.
The Baltimore Sun, citing two unnamed sources, reported Friday night that the Browns hired former Ravens offensive line coach Andy Moeller to fill the same role in Cleveland. The Browns have yet to announce the move.
Moeller, 49, spent the past six seasons with the Ravens, serving as an assistant offensive line coach from 2008-10 and the team’s main offensive line coach from 2011-13. Pettine worked for the Ravens from 2002-08, so his last season in Baltimore was Moeller’s first with the organization.
Before joining the Ravens, Moeller coached in the college ranks for 21 seasons. He spent time with Indiana, Army, Missouri and Michigan.
The Browns also hired former Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains on Thursday without a formal title, but a league source said it’s “very likely” he’ll become the team’s quarterbacks coach. The Browns announced Monday that they hired tight ends coach Brian Angelichio, who spent the past two seasons in the same capacity with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Nate Ulrich can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.