The Cleveland Browns first top candidate for their head coaching vacancy was New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, but he unsurprisingly spurned the Browns and decided to stay in a more stable position in New England. Not only does he get to work with Bill Belichick and Tom Brady, but he doesn’t have to deal with the Browns incompetent front office which led to the unnecessary firing of Rob Chudzinski after just one season. The Browns then moved to Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Adam Gase, but he’s in the same situation as McDaniels- he’s on an elite team with an elite quarterback and in a stable situation. Gase might not even interview with the Browns due to the poor front office (Jimmy Haslam isn’t the problem for Gase), so it looks like the Browns won’t be able to hire an offense-minded head coach.
While the Browns haven’t given up their pursuit of Gase, it looks like their next top candidate will be a defense-minded head coach in Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, who could also meet some competition from Buffalo Bills DC Mike Pettine. Quinn is also a top coordinator on an elite team who has the benefit of working with elite talent around him, and there’s been smoke between the Browns and Quinn for quite some time.
The NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports that the Browns and Quinn have mutual interest, but the Browns would need to have a very strong offensive coordinator in place if they hire a defense-minded head coach. As it stands right now, the Browns offense is a mess without a franchise QB or feature back, whereas the defense is solid. Rapoport reports that Quinn’s top three offensive coordinator candidates are Kyle Shanahan, Mike Mularkey, and former Houston Texans head coach Gary Kubiak; that’s definitely a solid list.