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Browns Head Coaching Search

Browns head coaching search

On Monday morning, the Cleveland Browns fired Head Coach Hue Jackson. While his coaching record in Cleveland was a lowly 3-36-1, it seems a bit early in the season to fire a head coach, especially one who didn’t receive much talent to work with until this year. There have been rumors that the firing was partly because rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield isn’t a huge fan of Hue Jackson. In that case, Mayfield may have a say in the Browns head coaching search.

The Browns also fired offensive coordinator Todd Haley. This shows that Cleveland probably wants another offensive-minded head coach to help develop Mayfield in the future. Here are a few potential targets in the Browns head coaching search:

John DeFilippo (Vikings OC)

DeFilippo built a pedigree in Philadelphia for developing quarterbacks, which helped himself earn an Offensive Coordinator position with the Vikings. He was the quarterbacks’ coach for Carson Wentz’s first two seasons and one of the people who Wentz credits for his incredibly quick development. This year, Flip has helped Kirk Cousins have his best season ever, in terms of both efficiency and volume.

Browns head coaching search
Defilippo coaching Carson Wentz at training camp (Image from USA Today)

DeFilippo would be a great coach for Baker Mayfield. He is obsessed with watching tape to help quarterbacks improve and even helps prepare offensive schemes for his teams. If the Browns are looking for a young offensive mind with an NFL pedigree, Flip is the way to go.

Dave Toub (Chiefs Assistant HC and Special Teams)

When teams search for head coaches, one of the places they frequently look at is Andy Reid’s coaching staff. He has an extensive and successful coaching tree including the recent hires of Doug Pederson in 2016 and Matt Nagy this past offseason. This year, his main assistant with head coaching potential is assistant head coach and special teams coordinator Dave Toub.

Various executives and front office members have said that Toub is a great candidate for a head coaching opportunity. He has the personality to get his players to buy into his system. In addition, Toub has experience dealing with players on both sides of the ball since players from many different positions play special teams. Cleveland should at least take a look at hiring someone from a proven coaching tree, someone with the personality to run a team effectively.

Lincoln Riley (Oklahoma Sooners HC)

Browns head coaching search
Baker Mayfield and Lincoln Riley after a win against Oklahoma State in 2017

The Oklahoma Sooners head coach would be a great fit for Cleveland for two big reasons. One, he was Mayfield’s coach during Mayfield’s Heisman season and the two of them have a great relationship. Riley knows exactly how to get the best out of Mayfield and on the flip-side, Mayfield will trust his former college coach completely.

Second, Riley is a young, offensive-minded coach which is exactly what the Browns need. Their defensive coordinator and interim head coach Gregg Williams has done a great job and could continue to run the defense even after a potential Lincoln Riley hiring. That way, Riley could focus on improving the offense and running schemes to get his skill players in space, as he does at Oklahoma right now. While Riley says he is not thinking of the NFL at all right now, that could very well change after the season.


At the end of the day, finding the right head coach for a team can be difficult, but it is one of the most important steps for a franchise. Cleveland’s best bet is to find a coach who is young and creative offensive mind, but can also win over the locker room and gain his players’ trust. While the coaches above fit that mold, there are others out there who could be more of what the Browns are looking for. Cleveland needs to have in mind what type of coach they want and do everything they can to sign the best available one.


Featured image by AP Photo

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