Pat Shurmur remains the head coach of the Browns, but league sources indicate that he and general manager Tom Heckert will not keep their jobs after this season, with Michael Lombardi a serious candidate to join the Browns’ front office.
ESPN Cleveland reported Wednesday that Lombardi will be joining the team as director of personnel after the season.
Should that occur, these sources say, Lombardi will have Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels on a short list of head coaching targets, which would include (and likely start with) two college coaches: Alabama’s Nick Saban and Oregon’s Chip Kelly.
Saban, considering his professional and personal comfort as the king of college football, and Kelly (who will be able to demand personnel control if he wants it) are considered long shots for the Browns job. That would leave McDaniels as the most viable candidate.
The Cleveland Plain Dealer, citing an unidentified source, said McDaniels would jump at the chance to coach the Browns. He’s been an assistant with the Patriots for nine seasons (2001-08, 2012), and was 11-17 as head coach of the Broncos from 2009-10.
So what does that leave the Browns as head coach? Lombardi’s third choice is Canton-native Josh McDaniels, who failed as Denver Broncos coach but has risen from the ashes in his second stint as Tom Brady’s personal coach with the Patriots.
McDaniels, 36, was 11-17 as Denver Broncos coach in 2009-10 after a 6-0 start. His hiring would likely enable the Browns to retain Dick Jauron as defensive coordinator and much of the current defensive staff.
There are other possibilities on how the Browns’ new direction will unfold, but a Banner-Lombardi-McDaniels triumvirate is currently seen as the most realistic.
Lombardi will have Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels on a short list of head coaching targets, which would include...Alabama’s Nick Saban and Oregon’s Chip Kelly
and he's a downgrade at OC from O'Brien...
Josh McDaniels is the likely favorite to be the next Browns HC