On Tuesday, the Cleveland Browns announced the firing of five assistant coaches:
- Hal Hunter (offensive line)
- Johnny Holland (inside linebackers)
- Ryan Slowik (outside linebackers)
- Louie Cioffi (defensive backs)
- Cannon Matthews (assistant defensive backs)
It’s not a surprise to see four defensive assistants gone, considering that Ray Horton was just replaced by Greg Williams as the team’s new defensive coordinator. A couple of days ago, Tony Grossi of ESPN Cleveland heard that Williams would be bringing two coaches from the secondary, along with a few other people.
Told Gregg Williams will be bringing assts. Brandon Fisher, Dennard Wilson & Blake Williams to #Browns. Possibly more.— Tony Grossi (@TonyGrossi) January 8, 2017
Hunter is more of a surprise, however he did come over from the Indianapolis Colts, where he worked with Pep Hamilton. Now that Hamilton is gone, maybe head coach Hue Jackson feels someone else is more fit for the job. They could also consider promoting assistant offensive line coach Mark Hutson.
Since changes were expected on the defensive side of the ball, let's take a look at which coaches remain there: Robert Nunn (defensive line), Ken Delgado (assistant defensive line), and Eric Sanders (defensive quality control). Sanders has a previous working relationship with Jackson from their days in Oakland. The retention [for now] of the defensive line coaches could be a testament to the job they did in 2016. Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal also points out Nunn’s background:
#Browns defensive line coach Robert Nunn not among assistants fired. Arrived in Cleveland last year with vast experience coaching in 4-3.— Nate Ulrich (@NateUlrichABJ) January 10, 2017
Ulrich also says that he’s been told that additional firings are “unlikely,” which would mean that special teams coordinator Chris Tabor survives again:
I'm told more firings on #Browns coaching staff unlikely. So Chris Tabor, Kirby Wilson, Al Saunders, others expected to return.— Nate Ulrich (@NateUlrichABJ) January 10, 2017
We’ll keep everyone posted as any more coaching-related news comes along.