The Cleveland Browns were expected to have competition for some of their targets for their open defensive coordinator position but that competition may be more interesting than expected. Jim Schwartz, Brian Flores, Jerod Mayo and Sean Desai are all respected in the NFL and should be in positions to call defenses next year unless they decide otherwise.
One way that they may not be calling defenses is if they get a chance to be a head coach somewhere. We know that the Browns have placed an emphasis on past head coaching experience in looking for their new coordinator. We also know there is a chance that Schwartz or Flores could be targetted for head coaching positions, although neither has been linked to an interview yet.
Somewhat surprisingly, it is actually Mayo that has the first chance, of the four, to interview for the top job. The Carolina Panthers have requested to interview him for their position according to a report:
Carolina is requesting permission to interview Patriots inside linebackers coach Jerod Mayo for its head coaching job, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 12, 2023
The Panthers are in an interesting position. Interim coach Steve Wilks almost got the team to the playoffs after a putrid start under Matt Rhule but seems to have an uphill climb to get the position.
Mayo, a former first-round pick and quality starting linebacker for the New England Patriots, has never held the title of defensive coordinator but has called plays for the Pats for a few years. His only coaching and playing experience is with New England which could be a selling point given Bill Belichick’s resume but no coach off of Belichick’s tree has had much success in the NFL.
Schwartz and Flores interviewed with Cleveland on Wednesday and Thursday. There is no timetable currently set for either Mayo or Desai. With Seattle in the playoffs, Desai’s interview will depend on if the Seahawks advance.
It is likely that Mayo will prioritize the Carolina interview first before scheduling with the Browns.