The Cleveland Browns are having difficulty filling their head coaching vacancy after firing first-year coach Rob Chudzinski, with league sources saying the job is considered "radioactive" by potential candidates.
The Browns shocked many around the NFL by dumping Chudzinski after just his first season. The Browns finished 4-12 under his tenure but suffered from some bad luck as well, losing promising quarterback Brian Hoyer early in the season and second-year signal caller Brandon Weedon later on.
The team is focusing on a small group of candidates that includes Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Adam Gase, with NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport saying the Browns plan to move in on Gase quickly once the Broncos lose.
"The Browns also spent Saturday talking with Chargers coordinator Ken Whisenhunt, and they 'like' Packers quarterbacks coach Ben McAdoo, per Rapoport, reinforcing the belief that team owner Jimmy Haslam, CEO Joe Banner and general manager Michael Lombardi seek an offensive-minded coach to replace the fired Rob Chudzinski."
But whatever candidate they choose, the Cleveland Browns may have a difficult sell. Reports say that the candidates have been in contact with Rob Chudzinski, and that he has been honest about the impossible situation he faced in Cleveland.
"He's been honest with them," Rapoport said. "When you talk to people involved in these interviews, it doesn't sound like Banner, Lombardi and Haslam have all been on the same page."
After Chudzinski's firing, Rapoport tweeted that Rob Chudzinski's staff of assistant coaches would remain in place as the team looked for a new head coach, calling it an "interesting" move.
Whoever takes over for Rob Chuzinski may have a difficult task ahead. The Cleveland Browns have only finished over.500 only two times since 1999 and only made one trip to the playoffs.