The Cleveland Browns could be looking at a dark horse candidate to fill the head coach opening, a new report indicates.
The Browns have been active in trying to fill the hole left after the firing of Freddie Kitchens at the end of the season, interviewing New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, who is seen as one of the most in-demand head coaching candidates. The Browns have also given interviews to a trio of coordinators now in the NFL playoffs: Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bienemy, San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh, and Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski.
But as ESPN's Chris Mortensen reported on Twitter, it may be another offensive coordinator who ends up getting the job. The Browns interviewed Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, who is reported to be a finalist for the position.
As Mortensen noted, Daboll had a "strong interview" and could be out in front of the other candidates.
"Not surprised by this at all. I've been told Daboll is exceptionally prepared and clear about his vision when he has interviewed for previous roles," Mortensen said.
Though he may have presented a strong gameplan for the franchise, Daboll would not be lauded as much for his accomplishments in Buffalo. Though the team reached a 10-6 mark this season, the first time the Bills cracked double-digit wins in the last 20 years, it was on the strength of one of the league's best defenses. The Bills ranked No. 24 in the league in total offense this season as second-year quarterback Josh Allen suffered through some growing pains, especially early in the season.
But Daboll has also received praise for his work in developing Allen, who was seen as one of the most raw quarterbacks of the 2018 class.While many consider McDaniels to be a top candidate for the job, there could be lingering worries after the way he backed out of the Indianapolis Colts coaching job after initially accepting the position, returning to the Patriots.
The Browns could have their eye on another member of the Buffalo Bills in the organization's rebuild. As Bills Wire reported, Buffalo assistant general manager Joe Schoen was identified as being on the radar for Cleveland's vacant general manager position.
Cleveland Plain Dealer reporter Mary Kay Cabot reported on Twitter that Daboll and Schoen could end up going to the Browns as something of a package deal.