CLEVELAND (AP) — After a one-day break, the Browns are resuming their coaching search by interviewing Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, who previously worked in Cleveland.
Daboll is the fifth candidate to meet with Browns owner Jimmy Haslam, who is trying to find the right coach after firing five since buying the team in 2012.
One of Cleveland’s top candidates is no longer available, with former Packers coach Mike McCarthy agreeing to become coach of the Dallas Cowboys, a person familiar with the decision told the Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the team has not made an announcement.
McCarthy spent the last season out of football brushing up on new trends. He was presumed to be near the top of Cleveland’s wish list because of his winning record and background working with Browns assistant general manager Eliot Wolf in Green Bay.
Daboll was Cleveland’s offensive coordinator under Eric Mangini in 2009-10. He’s had a successful two-year stint with the Bills, helping develop young quarterback Josh Allen, who led Buffalo to a playoff berth before losing at Houston on Saturday.
The Browns need someone to fix quarterback Baker Mayfield, who was wildly inconsistent and regressed in his second season under Freddie Kitchens.
Daboll’s impressive resume also includes five Super Bowl titles on Bill Belichick’s staff in New England. He also won a national championship running Nick Saban’s offense at Alabama in 2017 before leaving for the Bills.
League rules stipulate that a team cannot complete a contract with a coach in the playoffs until his team has been eliminated from the postseason.
So Daboll is now free to sign if the Browns want him as is Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, who is expected to meet with Haslam and his search committee this week. McDaniels has ties to northeast Ohio and could be the front-runner to land the job.
However, the Browns may have stiff competition for McDaniels, the former Broncos coach expected to interview with Carolina and the New York Giants for their openings.
The Browns are also likely to meet with Vikings offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski this week. He was a candidate last year before the Browns hired Freddie Kitchens.
Cleveland began interviews last Thursday by meeting with McCarthy at the team’s headquarters in Berea, Ohio. They traveled to Baltimore and met Ravens offensive coordinator Greg Roman on Thursday night. On Friday, Haslam and his group went to Kansas City and interviewed Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy.
The Browns met Saturday with San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh. They did not do any interviews Sunday.