Cleveland Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski had the same offensive coaches since he was hired in 2020. After the playoff spanking against the Houston Texans, a club that they had beaten convincingly during the regular season, Stefanski fired RB coach Stump Mitchell, TE coach T.C. McCartney, and OC Alex Van Pelt.
The big question for the new OC is whether Stefanski would give up the play-calling duties or allow his new hire to perform those responsibilities. Earlier in the week, GM Andrew Berry mentioned that the conversation had been held between himself and Stefanski about the play-calling burden going forward.
“That’s going to be his decision as he constructs a staff. That’s one of Kevin’s strengths, but how that operates from year to year, that’s ultimately something that we reassess.”
There have been five names associated with the OC position that the Browns have announced they have - or will - interview. So, this is not a list of who Dawgs By Nature has as their wish list for offensive coordinator.
Which candidate do you hope the Browns hire going forward? Cast your vote after this article.
In no particular order:
Jerrod Johnson – Houston Texans QB Coach
Johnson has been recommended by QB Deshaun Watson’s personal QB coach. He was credited with the development of rookie C.J. Stroud this past season. He has youth on his side but is an inexperienced coach with just one year as the QB coach.
He is a former quarterback who went undrafted in 2011 after a good career at Texas A&M. Johnson was on the active roster or practice squad of six NFL clubs, one CFL, plus four other league teams such as the UFL and the Arena League.
His coaching career consists of two years of mentorship, as offensive quality control coach, the assistant QB coach of the Minnesota Vikings in 2022, and then the QB coach position last year with Houston. So, his experience is minimal at this point. He did work closely with Texans OC Bobby Slowik who turned around that offense. Johnson, age 35, has never been the play-caller.
Ken Dorsey – former Buffalo Bills OC
Dorsey has fire which is a big swing from the calm demeanor of Stefanski. He has play-calling ability so there is a chance this would become part of his duties. During his stint with the Bills, their offense was a roller coaster with great games followed by stagnant outputs. Dorsey was the Browns backup QB from 2006-2008. He is credited with Cam Newton’s ascension while the QB of the Carolina Panthers as well as Josh Allen with Buffalo.
Dorsey, age 42, was fired by the Bills earlier this season after numerous dismal offensive games highlighted by turnovers. Dorsey prioritizes heavier personnel packages with multiple tight end sets, which used to align with Stefanski’s original offense when he was hired.
He is a former QB with the Miami Hurricanes where he won a National Championship and was highly decorated including being named First Team All-American, Two Time Quarterback of the Year, and won several honors such as the Maxwell Award. He was a seventh-round selection of the San Francisco 49ers in 2003 and spent three seasons there. He was then traded to the Browns in 2006 and competed with Derek Anderson for the starting role. After Cleveland drafted QB Brady Quinn in the first round, Dorsey became expendable and found employment with the CFL Toronto Argonauts.
As a coach, he began as the QB coach of the Panthers from 2013-2017 before Buffalo hired him for the same position. He added passing game coordinator to his title for one season before being promoted to OC in 2022 until his untimely firing this year.
Andy Dickerson – Seattle Seahawks OL Coach
Dickerson’s forte is his run game experience. He is a very good offensive line coach but has zero play-calling abilities. Where his weak points pertain to is the passing attack. Once Van Pelt was let go, Dickerson was their first interview for the vacant position. He was the assistant offensive line coach with the Browns from 2009-2010.
It is very clear that Cleveland took many steps back in what used to be their hallmark – the running game. Dickerson would be the man to rejuvenate this aspect. He was the run game coordinator with Seattle in 2021 before being promoted to offensive line coach. That same year, the Seahawks were second in the NFL in “Expected Points Added” on the ground.
Dickerson, age 41, is a former offensive lineman and had minimal playing time with five NFL clubs. His first coaching stop was as an intern with two NFL teams plus one college. In 2006, he was hired as the defensive quality control coach of the New York Jets for three seasons. Then onto the Browns before landing back with the Jets again for a single season. The St. Louis/Los Angeles Rams hired Dickerson as their assistant offensive line coach from 2012-2020. The Seahawks then hired him for the past two seasons. He has no play-calling experience.
Kellen Moore – Los Angeles Chargers OC
Moore, age 35, has the most experience at OC and calling plays than any other candidate the Browns have expressed an interest in. Chargers head coach Brandon Staley had hired Moore away from the Dallas Cowboys after the 2022 season. He was the Cowboys OC for four years and called all plays during that stint. This continued with the Chargers this past season before Staley was fired.
After hiring Jim Harbaugh as their new head coach, the Chargers are letting their coaches who are under contract pursue other jobs. Moore is considered one of the top play-calling candidates currently available and has an interview scheduled with the Eagles as well.
Despite being one of the college game’s most prolific quarterbacks as he went 50-3 during his career at Boise State. Twice he was named Quarterback of the Year and was a Two Time All-American, Two Time All-WAC, and a Two Time Western Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Year. Moore was also a finalist for both the Maxwell Award and the Heisman Trophy. After he won his second consecutive Touchdown Club of Columbus Quarterback of the Year Award, they renamed the distinction the “Kellen Moore Award.”
Despite his success at the college level, he went undrafted in 2012 and signed with the Detroit Lions where he remained a backup to Dan Orlovsky for three seasons. The left-handed QB then was signed by the Cowboys and backed up Tony Romo, Brandon Weeden, or Matt Cassel. He suffered a fractured fibula and a second fracture of his collarbone during his Dallas stint which essentially ended his playing career.
Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett decided to keep Moore on as his QB coach in 2018. When Garrett was fired, newly-hired Mike McCarthy promoted Moore to the OC spot which he held from 2019-2022. During these seasons, the Cowboys were listed at the top of almost every offensive category. The Cowboys offense was ranked #1 in total yards gained in 2019 plus #6 in offensive points scored. In 2021, Dallas ranked #1 in both categories.
His scheme is a fast-paced version of the spread that usually will attempt to befuddle the defense with different pre-snap guises. Moore is seen as an innovator who can make his offense produce with whatever personnel he is coaching.
While the most experienced OC on this list, the question is whether his schemes fit what the Browns are looking for.
Brian Johnson – former Philadelphia Eagles OC
Johnson, age 36, is experienced in the NFL as well as the college level and is a play-caller. Last year he was the QB coach and when Shane Steichen left for the head coach position with the Indianapolis Colts, the Eagles bumped Johnson up to their OC. Under Steichen, Philly was in the upper echelon of just about every offensive category. With Johnson at the helm, the offense regressed and became middle of the pack.
As a former QB for the University of Utah, Johnson went undrafted in 2009 and then played one season with the New York Sentinels of the UFL. His coaching career has been predominately as the QB coach for four colleges plus the Eagles. Johnson was the OC for the Universities of Houston (2017) and Florida (2020) so he is a play-caller. This past season he called all plays for Philadelphia but was not retained for 2024.
Johnson is credited with the development of QB Jalen Hurts into an MVP candidate. Hurts, like Watson, is a dual-threat quarterback. Johnson was interviewed for the Atlanta Falcons and Tennessee Titans head coaching positions recently.
Klint Kubiak – passing game coordinator San Francisco 49ers
Okay, the Browns have not officially asked to interview Kubiak, nor have they indicated he is on their radar. Plus, there are restrictions on being able to interview guys whose team is still in the playoffs. But the 36-year-old has the 49ers at the prime of their game and is a whizz at devising offensive schemes. Kubiak was the OC with the Vikings in 2021 so he has play-calling abilities.
Which of the OC candidates profiled do you prefer?
This poll is closed