As the Cleveland Browns continue to be marred by the ongoing federal investigation into owner Jimmy Haslam, it’s undoubtedly made the team less attractive to potential coaching candidates. It took them nearly a moth to hire a new head coach after multiple candidates turned them down, but Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator Mike Pettine was the one who finally said “yes”.
But a defensively minded head coach like Pettine will need a good offensive coordinator to succeed, and the team has yet to find one. They’ve considered the likes of LSU OC Cam Cameron, Ravens receivers coach Jim Hostler and even former Texans HC Gary Kubiak (now with the Ravens).
According to John Klein of ESPN, the Browns are now targeting former Redskins OC Kyle Shanahan:
Cleveland now talking to former #Redskins OC Kyle Shanahan, according to multiple league sources.
— John Keim (@john_keim) January 28, 2014
Kyle was fired this offseason after a disastrous 3-13 year in Washington, along with his father, Mike Shanahan. Prior to this year, Kyle looked live a very promising offensive-minded coach. He helped Robert Griffin III become Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2012, and even made his backup, Kirk Cousins, look like a capable starting QB.
Before that, Shanahan became the youngest coordinator in the NFL when he took over Houston’s offense in 2008. There, he built them into one of the best passing offenses in football with Matt Schaub as his quarterback.
But the biggest knock on him is that every successful stint he’s had as an OC was with an offensive-minded head coach above him.
In Houston, he had Gary Kubiak, who the Ravens just hired to be their OC. In Washington, he had his father, Mike. The concern with Kyle is can he be a successful OC without an offensive-minded head coach, which no one is mistaking Pettine for with the Browns.
At the end of the day, this is why the Ravens have more Super bowl wins (2) than the Browns have playoff appearances (1) since 1999, and why Cleveland continues to be viewed as the little brothers of the AFC North.