With coaching interviews complete, search for GM begins

Browns request permission to speak with Colts assistant GM Ed Dodds, 2 others

Daryl Ruiter
January 11, 2020 - 2:57 pm
Jimmy Haslam Cleveland Browns

Daryl Ruiter-92.3 The Fan

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CLEVELAND, Ohio (92.3 The Fan) – The Cleveland Browns don’t appear ready to name their next head coach but the search for the next general manager is underway, potentially revealing at least three finalists for the job.

The team has requested permission to speak with at least three candidates – Colts assistant general manager Ed Dodds 92.3 The Fan’s Dustin Fox first reported Saturday, Eagles vice president of football operations Andrew Berry and Bills assistant general manager Joe Schoen according to ESPN.

Berry served as the Browns' vice president of player personnel for nearly three years from 2016-19 before leaving for Philadelphia last offseason.

Dodds would pair with San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh and Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported Saturday that Seattle Seahawks co-directors of pro personnel Trent Kirchner and Scott Fitterer along with 49ers vice president of player personnel Adam Peters could also pair with Saleh.

Saturday afternoon Saleh bested another Browns candidate – Vikings offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski – in the NFC divisional playoffs. Saleh’s defense held Stefanski and the Vikings to just 147 total yards, seven first downs, 2-12 on third down while forcing a pair of turnovers in a 27-10 win to send San Francisco to the NFC Championship game a year after finishing 4-12.

Stefanski would likely be paired with Berry while ESPN’s Chris Mortenson reported Saturday that Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll “had a strong interview” and could be “a sleeper” to land the job. Daboll and Schoen would likely be another package deal, which is exactly what Browns owner Jimmy Haslam is looking for.

Friday New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels interviewed in Berea for nearly seven hours before returning to Boston.

Momentum seems to have slowed significantly toward him getting the job but this search has been anything but predictable.

Haslam spoke extensively Jan. 2 about organizational alignment, and it is possible McDaniels’ vision doesn’t quite align with Haslam going forward or could require changes Browns ownership isn’t ready to make.

The Browns, who are the lone team with a head coaching vacancy remaining, have stayed true to their process during these searches and are taking their time to decide. 

The search committee this offseason consists of Haslam, executive vice president JW Johnson and vice president of football administration Chris Cooper.

Cleveland also interviewed Mike McCarthy, who was hired by the Cowboys, Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Greg Roman, Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy and Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz for the head coaching job over the last two weeks.

Under league rules, the Browns can’t hire a coach whose team is still participating in the playoffs.