The Cleveland Browns could be looking to poach a major rival to fill their head coaching vacancy.
NBC Sports Washington reported that the Browns are looking to interview Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Greg Roman for the job vacated after the firing of Freddie Kitchens. Roman confirmed earlier in the week that he had received some interest for head coaching vacancies, and now it appears that he may have a chance to stay within the AFC North.
The report noted that the Browns have already taken a look at former Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy for the head coaching job, and plan to continue casting a wide net as the team looks to move beyond a disappointing 2019 that started with playoff hopes, but ended with the Browns falling to a 6-10 mark.
Roman was the architect of one of the most unstoppable offenses in the NFL this year, unleashing quarterback Lamar Jackson with a scheme that played to his strengths in the running game while also opening up big plays in the passing game. As the report noted, Roman would have a very different type of quarterback in Baker Mayfield, should he end up as the Browns head coach, but he has a history of playing to the strengths of his teams.
Whether he lands a job with the Browns or some other team, it seems almost certain that Roman would be destined to become an NFL head coach, should he want the job. He is seen as the most in-demand assistant coach, and Pro Football Talk recently named him the “Assistant Coach of the Year” for his efforts in Baltimore.
“Some NFL coaches are wedded to their own systems and expect the players to fit themselves into the system the coach runs. Not Roman, who spent the offseason reshaping the Ravens’ offense to make it work for what Jackson does best,” the report noted. “The results were clear: Jackson is the league MVP, the Ravens have the league’s best offense, and they finished the season with the best record in the NFL.”
It is not clear how enticing the Cleveland Browns job could be compared to other NFL openings. The Browns have failed to capitalize off an array of offensive talent and there were reports of tension between the coaching staff and front office.
As the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported, the team ownership is allowing Chief Strategy Officer Paul DePodesta — who first made his name in Major League Baseball for his use of analytics — to run the search process for the next head coach. Ownership will have the final say on a hire, the report noted.