BEREA, Ohio (AP) — Browns owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam will count on John Dorsey’s keen eye for talent to find a coach.
Cleveland’s general manager since December, Dorsey will head the team’s search for a coach to replace Hue Jackson, who was finally fired last month after winning just three of 40 games over two-plus seasons.
It was assumed Dorsey would lead the pursuit for Jackson’s successor, and vice president of communications Peter John-Baptiste confirmed that Wednesday night to dispel speculation the Haslams were going to handle the duties themselves. Dorsey will collaborate with ownership in hiring the Browns’ ninth coach since 1999, John-Baptiste said.
Dorsey has significantly overhauled Cleveland’s roster since he was hired last year after the Haslams dismissed head of football operations Sashi Brown. Although Dorsey has never been in charge of hiring a coach, the Haslams are turning to their top football executive to help them find a replacement for Jackson, who was brought back for a third season despite going 1-31 in his first two.
Jackson was the third coach fired by the Haslams since they took over the franchise in 2012. Offensive coordinator Todd Haley was also let go by Jimmy Haslam, who cited “internal discord” as the chief reason behind his decision.
Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams is serving as Cleveland’s interim coach, and could move into consideration for the full-time gig if the Browns (2-6-1) play well the rest of this season.
Dorsey will likely lean on his deep NFL connections to find a coach. He previously worked in Green Bay and Kansas City.
While Dorsey is expected to make some contacts, it’s unlikely he’ll hire his coach until the Browns complete their season.
There are already names bouncing around as possible candidates, including Chiefs assistants Eric Bieniemy and Dave Toub and Vikings offensive coordinator John DeFilippo.
Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley has been mentioned as a potential fit in Cleveland because of his background with Browns rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield.