CLEVELAND — We are heading into week 2 of the search for a new head coach of the Cleveland Browns. On Monday, there were several interesting developments:
According to ESPN's Rob Demovsky, the Browns' talks with former Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy have 'been put on hold.' That's not to say that McCarthy is no longer a candidate, but he's free and clear to take the New York Jets head coaching gig and is essentially on the back burner in Berea.
Also, we found out that the Browns interviewed their offensive coordinator Freddie Kitchens for the head coaching spot. How amazing would it be if Kitchens went from position coach when the season began to becoming head coach of the Browns?
So if you're scoring at home (and I know you are), here's who the Browns have confirmed they've interviewed with:
At this point, we've not heard about any other potential interviews, but as we discussed last week, things can change in a hurry.
Seeming everyone who was streaming the postgame show on Monday night asked Jimmy and I the same question: Is there a front-runner for the job?
Make a mental note about Dan Campbell. The 42-year-old is from the Bill Parcells tree, having played for him in Dallas and then brought to Miami as an assistant coach when 'The Tuna' was running the Dolphins' football operations. Campbell seems to check many of the boxes that GM John Dorsey laid out last week, including being a leader of young men.
Jimmy points out that Campbell did a good job as interim head coach of the Dolphins during a turbulent 2015 season, finishing 5-7 before joining fellow Parcells-disciple Sean Payton in New Orleans as assistant head coach.
I wouldn't rule out Kitchens, either.
When the most important asset of the franchise is Baker Mayfield, who had a great chemistry with Kitchens, you can't not consider him strongly.
The NFL Network's Ian Rappoport added this nugget:
A realistic shot? Yup.
"Oh to be a fly on the wall for Freddie Kitchens' interview. He's a funny, funny guy, said Jimmy. "If he got the job, beyond the Cinderella story, from a media standpoint and for the fans, it would be a ball."
Wild Card Takeways
What did we make of the NFL Wild Card playoff games from the weekend?
There were two things that stood out to both Jimmy and myself when thinking about the postseason and the Cleveland Browns:
1. The Browns HAVE to get a reliable kicker. They will be involved in too many close games that will necessitate getting every possible extra point and every . It reminded me about how we all took the greatness of Phil Dawson for granted all of those years.
2. The AFC North is ripe for the taking for the Browns. The Steelers are team turmoil, the Bengals are rebuilding, and the Ravens are an odd mix of young and old that the Browns should have swept this season. Mayfield will be better next year and the team will be hungry.
First things first however, they need to get the coach.
Watch the Donovan Live Postgame Show in the player above