New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels has been viewed as the front-runner for the Cleveland Browns head coaching vacancy, as his name has consistently been mentioned among the leaders. His interview with the Browns was scheduled for today, and both he and Browns GM Michael Lombardi are Bill Belichick disciples.
McDaniels, of course, isn’t the only name that the Browns are focusing in on, as they’ve contacted several coaches and have an especially keen interest in hiring a college coach. They’ve already reached out to James Franklin and showed interest in Gus Malzahn at one point, and it was once reported that Malzahn and Franklin were favorites along with McDaniels.
But it appears that a different college coach is near the top of the Cleveland Browns wish list, as the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports that Oklahoma Sooners head coach Bob Stoops and Josh McDaniels are the top two candidates for the Browns head coaching vacancy. This report backs up ESPN’s Tony Softli’s report a couple of days ago that stated Stoops was among the favorites. That report seemed to come out of the blue, but Softli is well-connected (he used to be an exec in the NFL, after all) and has been proven correct.
It’s interesting to see that Stoops is so high on the Browns list, and it’s even more interesting to see that the interest seems to be mutual. It has been reported several times that Stoops is significantly more open to the NFL than he has been in the past, as the Sooners legend might feel like he’s accomplished enough in college and should try his hand in the NFL. He was courted heavily by NFL teams in the past before turning down those overtures, but it looks like he could potentially pull the trigger and leave Norman for Cleveland.