The Cleveland Browns have narrowed their head coaching search down to the final three candidates, with Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll making the cut as one of the finalists.
Daboll is one of three current offensive coordinators on the team’s short list of preferred candidates to replace Freddie Kitchens, who was fired on Dec. 29th after going 6-10 in his one season and extending the Browns’ playoff drought to 17 seasons.
Daboll joins New England Patriots’ offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and Minnesota Vikings’ offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski atop the Browns’ list of candidates.
According to Boston Globe senior NFL writer Ben Volin, the team is expected to “wrap up their process today and hope(s) to have a hire by tonight or tomorrow.”
In Daboll’s second season with the Bills, the team ranked 23rd in the NFL in points scored (314), 24th in total yards gained (5,283), eighth in total rushing yards (2,054), and 11th in fewest turnovers (19).
Under Daboll’s watch, second-year quarterback Josh Allen made strides, seeing improvement in every meaningful statistic: total touchdowns (29 this year compared to 18 last year), passing touchdowns (20 this year, 10 last year), interceptions (nine this year, 12 last year), completion percentage (58.8% this year, 52.4% last year), and wins (5-6 his rookie season, 10-6 and a Wild Card berth in 2019).
In addition to Daboll, McDaniels and Stefanski, Cleveland also requested permission to interview Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator (and former Bills OC) Greg Roman, San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh, and Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy.
Former Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy also interviewed for the vacancy, but earlier this week McCarthy was named the Dallas Cowboys’ new head coach.
Update from ESPN's Pittsburgh reporter:
Multiple people around the league, including some who are involved in the Browns’ process, believe Josh McDaniels or Kevin Stefanski will be Cleveland’s next coach. But I’m told the Browns entered search with open mind and want to interview everyone before making decision.— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) January 10, 2020
And NFL Network
The #Browns are committed to their process and taking their time with the coaching search. To that end, no firm decision is expected today despite Josh McDaniels and his wife being in the building. The coaching search rolls on...— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 10, 2020