The Cleveland Browns have two games left in the 2022 NFL season but most fans and media have already turned the page toward the 2023 season. We shall see whether or not the Browns players have already turned the page now that any playoff hopes are squashed with how they play.
With few no first-round pick and a lot of big contracts already on the books, most have turned their eyes towards changes with the coaching staff. While HC Kevin Stefanski seems locked into returning (despite some fans wishing otherwise), DC Joe Woods and ST coordinator Mike Priefer aren’t as certain.
We noted a few weeks ago that former Cleveland safety Jim Leonhard could be available to fill Woods’ role after his alma mater didn’t give him the head coaching job despite his success as interim. An NFL insider reported a similar possibility on Tuesday.
Today, Brad Stainbrook from The OBR noted four names that could be hot this offseason for defensive coordinator jobs including Leonhard:
Source: Names to watch this offseason for DC jobs around the NFL include Jim Leonard, Dennard Wilson, Jerry Gray, and Karl Scott. #Browns— Brad Stainbrook (@StainbrookNFL) December 28, 2022
Despite a slight spelling error of his name in Stainbrook’s tweet, Leonhard is the big name on the list.
Wilson is in his first year as the defensive passing game coordinator with the Philadelphia Eagles and has primarily coached defensive backs his entire 11-year coaching career while also spending three years as a scout for the Chicago Bears.
Wilson was a three-year starter as a defensive back at Maryland.
Gray has been an NFL coach for 26 years, the last three with the Green Bay Packers in the same role as Wilson has. He has eight years of experience as a defensive coordinator, last in 2013 with the Tennesee Titans. Gray spent six years with Browns HC Kevin Stefanski when both were coaching in Minnesota.
Gray was an All-American safety at Texas and is a member of the university’s “All-Time Team.”
Finally, Scott has a similar role as Wilson and Gray, currently, with the Seattle Seahawks. He is in his first year there after spending one year with the Vikings in 2021 after three seasons coaching defensive backs at Alabama. Scott has just two years of NFL coaching experience but started as a graduate assistant at the college level in 2007.
Scott played college ball at McMurry University in Abilene, Texas.
Cleveland hasn’t fired Woods yet and, while it seems likely, there is no certainty that it will happen. If it does, one of the four names above are likely to be a part of the replacement search with Leonhard having experience with the city, Gray having experience with Stefanski and Wilson having experience with GM Andrew Berry with the Eagles.
Would Leonhard be your preference among these four options?