The Cleveland Browns acted quickly to remove DC Joe Woods from his position early Wednesday morning. Hours later, we started getting names of coaches the team had requested permission to speak to and found out that the Browns were going after some of the hottest commodities on the market.
So far, we know that Brian Flores, Jerod Mayo, Jim Schwartz and Sean Desai have all had interview requests placed. We also know that Schwartz was first up on the docket today with Flores expected to come in tomorrow.
It is interesting that those two are the first two coming in for interviews. While some of it may be due to practicalities and Desai’s team being in the playoffs, Schwartz and Flores could already have a leg up on the competition. According to Jeremy Fowler (subscriber, $), Cleveland has an interesting value when talking to potential coordinators:
Cleveland values head-coaching experience in the process of hiring a defensive coordinator.
Schwartz and Flores have both served in those roles previously and the Browns valuing it shows just how much leadership is needed on that side of the ball. Cleveland doesn’t just need someone who can call a good defense, instruct players and make adjustments but needs someone who can lead.
With strong personalities and the difficulties the last few seasons on defense, the Browns can’t minimize the importance of someone who understands all of the nuance of the game and has done so at the highest level. To dispel some fan/media discussion, valuing head coaching experience isn’t about having an “interim coach in waiting.” Not only is that loser mentality pointless in the NFL but that uncertainty would attract coaches and, by the time an interim was needed, the season would be likely a waste anyway.
While Cleveland is just starting their interview process, fans should be encouraged that their first four candidates are all widely respected coaches that will likely be targeted by other teams once they hire a head coach first. If the Browns can get their primary target quickly, the team can turn to player evaluation and filling out the coaching staff before some teams have a chance to even higher a new head coach.
Do you think Flores and Schwartz should have an advantage because they’ve been head coaches?