CLEVELAND — Former Browns offensive line coach Bob Wylie is convinced Gregg Williams deserved the head coaching job in Cleveland.

Wylie also believes Williams didn't get the gig because General Manager John Dorsey didn't want to set himself up for a power struggle with Williams.

Wylie revealed those thoughts and more Saturday as a guest on The Zach Gelb Show on CBS Sports Radio.

"My own personal feeling is Gregg was too strong a candidate for the seat," Wylie said, "and I don't think Dorsey wanted to go head to head [with Williams] like he had to do with Andy Reid in Kansas City. So he kind of filtered Gregg out of the picture."

Dorsey led the Browns' search for a head coach in January. He and the franchise's search committee interviewed seven candidates, including Williams and Freddie Kitchens, who ultimately prevailed as the hire.

When the Browns fired coach Hue Jackson and offensive coordinator Todd Haley on Oct. 29, they promoted Williams from defensive coordinator to interim head coach and Kitchens from running backs coach/associate head coach to offensive coordinator.

Under Williams and Kitchens, the Browns went 5-3 in the final eight games to finish the season 7-8-1.

Wylie said he was shocked a little bit when Kitchens was hired as head coach because Williams is the one who led the team's turnaround. Wylie noted quarterback Baker Mayfield developing a bond with Kitchens proved to be pivotal to Kitchens' candidacy.

"Baker likes Freddie," Wylie said. "There's a good relationship there, even though [former Browns quarterbacks coach] Kenny Zampese did all the coaching there. Baker likes Freddie, so that had to [factor] into the decision."

Zampese and Wylie are among several offensive assistants who were not retained by Kitchens.

Wylie had to take a leave of absence from the Browns in late December because he suffered a dislocated right ankle and a torn up left knee. He spent 122 days in a rehabilitation center after undergoing surgeries.

The Browns replaced Wylie in January with former Green Bay Packers offensive line coach James Campen, but Wylie said the organization never informed him of his fate. Instead, his daughter broke the news to him while he was hospitalized.

"My daughter called me and said, 'Hey, dad, you just got fired today,'" Wylie said. "That's the first time I heard about it."

Wylie said he had a missed phone call from Kitchens about two weeks later, but there was no voicemail, so he never called Kitchens back. Wylie said the Browns packed up his office at team headquarters in Berea and put his belongings in storage.

Now Wylie is dusting off his opinions and sharing them.

Nate Ulrich can be reached at nulrich@thebeaconjournal.com. Read his Browns coverage at www.ohio.com/browns. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ByNateUlrich and on Facebook www.facebook.com/abj.sports.