The Cleveland Browns officially announced the hiring of their coordinators on Monday, along with who most of the assistant coaches on offense will be. Here is list of all of the coaches that have either been confirmed hires, along with a quick snapshot of which teams the coaches were last with.
Head Coach: Freddie Kitchens (Cleveland)
- Offensive Coordinator: Todd Monken (Tampa Bay)
- Quarterbacks: Ryan Lindley (Cleveland)
- Running Backs/Run Game Coordinator: Stump Mitchell (NY Jets)
- Wide Receivers: Adam Henry* (Cleveland)
- Tight Ends: (Vacant)
- Offensive Line/Associate Head Coach: James Campen (Green Bay)
- Offensive Quality Control: Jim Dray (Stanford)
- Offensive Quality Control: Tyler Tettleton (NY Jets)
- Special Assistant to the Head Coach: Jody Wright (UAB)
The offensive coaching staff is nearly complete, with the lone vacancy coming at the tight end position. That could be what the club was interviewing Joe Philbin for. Monken is a hot hire for the Browns, and was reportedly “this close” to being the Jets or Packers head coaching hire. Therefore, if Cleveland’s offense continues to rise in 2019, there is a decent chance that Monken becomes a head coach in 2020. As Ryan Alton points out, though, that is OK — he and Kitchens can help each other out this year as they put together an innovative offense. If he leaves next year, the experience will have benefited both Monken and Kitchens.
Lindley was hired as the Browns’ running backs coach last October, replacing Kitchens after the whole firing of Hue Jackson and Todd Haley happened. The lateral move to quarterbacks coach made sense, as he had ties to Kitchens by playing for him not too long ago with the Arizona Cardinals. The other offensive coach who appears to have been retained was Henry, who GM John Dorsey praised last offseason for the positive influence he expected him to have on rookie receiver Antonio Callaway.
Campen was the longest-tenured assistant coach for the Packers and is well-respected around the NFL. His addition was labeled as a major score for the Browns, as Packers fans were surprised to see that he wasn’t retained. He has some experience working with current Browns center JC Tretter, who is coming off his best season with a pro. Players may have loved Bob Wylie, but with the reputation that Campen has, this should be an upgrade.
Mitchell worked with Kitchens in Arizona as a running backs coach. For the past two years, he has been the Jets’ running backs coach — in Cleveland, he will have the added title of “run game coordinator.” Going based on when Kirby Wilson used to have that title, that means he should be working with some of the tight ends and offensive linemen as well.
Dray, a former blocking tight end for the Browns, also used to play with the Cardinals when Kitchens was a coach there. Tettleton is a younger assistant, while Wright’s role is unclear other than being a lower-level assistant to the head coach.
- Defensive Coordinator: Steve Wilks (Arizona)
- Defensive Line: TBD
- Linebacker: TBD
- Defensive Backs: TBD
The next round of hires for the Browns will undoubtedly come on defense, as Wilks tries to fill out his staff. His one-and-done year in Arizona doesn’t discredit his ability to be a defensive coordinator, a role he thrived in with the Carolina Panthers. And, unlike Monken, it seems less likely that Wilks will be called upon soon for another head coaching gig.
Wilks will likely get his pick at a defensive staff. It was rumored that the Browns were initially holding on to defensive line coach Clyde Simmons and defensive backs coach DeWayne Walker, but we will wait until the rest of Wilks’ staff is known before listing them.
- Special Teams Coordinator: Mike Priefer (Minnesota)
We still have to figure out Priefer’s assistant special teams coach, but he comes to Cleveland with a lot of experience...and some controversy. He actually turned down a contract offer to return to Minnesota; he wanted to come to Cleveland for the change, similar to how Chris Tabor left Cleveland last offseason for Chicago. He will be an upgrade over Amos Jones.
Joshua Cribbs, a special teams assistant last year, was let go.
Who else would you like to see land in Cleveland as an assistant, Browns fans?