CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Browns' coaching search began with seven candidates.
If the NFL Network's Ian Rapoport is to be believed, the field has been narrowed to two:
When considering these final two candidates, Jim Donovan and I discussed who has been conducting the coaching interviews for the Browns:
- Jimmy Haslam, owner
- JW Johnson, son-in-law to the Haslams and team executive vice president
- John Dorsey, general manager
- Eliot Wolff, assistant general manager
- Paul DePodesta, chief strategy officer
- Andrew Berry, vice president of player personnel
Alonzo Highsmith, Dorsey's other vice president of player personnel, is apparently working with the coaches and scouts putting together final reports in Berea. Don't read anything into his name not being on the above list.
Think about said list when you hear what Rapoport said about Stefanski during an appearance on the NFL Network's Up to the Minute:
“Really young, but big into analytics and is someone that members of the front office in Cleveland really, really like"
Uhhh, what's that you say...analytics?
It sounds like the Harvard duo of DePodesta and Berry might be having some pull into this process.
Stefanski is interesting. He's only 36-years-old, but has been an assistant coach with the Vikings for 13 years coaching quarterbacks, running backs and tight ends. He replaced former Browns assistant John DeFilippo as Minnesota’s offensive coordinator late in the 2018 regular season.
Combined, Stefanski and Kitchens have been a coordinator for a total of 11 games in their careers. One of them will likely be the next head coach of the Browns.
A fun story
One of the things I love about doing the Donovan Live Postgame Show with Jimmy is hearing some of his stories that come out of the blue.
A Facebook Live viewer brought up his favorite memory of Jimmy when he called NFL games on NBC in the late 1980s-mid 1990s. In 1990, he was in Kansas City with Paul Maguire to call the Chiefs-Seahawks game.
Chiefs Hall of Fame linebacker Derrick Thomas was unbelievable that afternoon, setting an NFL record with seven sacks in a single game.
The rest of the story?
The one sack Thomas didn't get came on the game's final play as Dave Krieg threw a Hail Mary to Paul Skansi to lift Seattle over Kansas City.
You never know what can happen in the NFL.
Watch the Donovan Live Postgame Show in the player above