Around the AFC North: Josh McDaniels Among Browns Head Coach Candidates


Cleveland Browns: Josh McDaniels, Brian Daboll Are Next Candidates

The Cleveland Browns' search for a head coach has rolled into its second week, with Buffalo Bills Offensive Coordinator Brian Daboll scheduled to interview Monday.

However, another name to watch for the Browns job is New England Patriots Offensive Coordinator Josh McDaniels. The Browns have reportedly asked permission to speak with McDaniels, and with New England eliminated from the playoffs, a decision on McDaniels' future could be accelerated.

McDaniels was born in Ohio and attended high school in Canton, which might make the Browns job more appealing to him.

The Browns may see McDaniels as the right coach to work with their bevy of offensive weapons that include quarterback Baker Mayfield, wide receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry and running back Nick Chubb. Cleveland underachieved under former Head Coach Freddie Kitchens, who was fired after a disappointing 6-10 season.

Kitchens had never been a head coach before and may not have been ready for the job. McDaniels was the head coach of the Denver Broncos (2009-2010), and he has spent 17 years working with Bill Belichick in New England.

McDaniels was announced as the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts on Feb. 6, 2018, but he withdrew from the position the same day to remain with the Patriots. This time, he is expected to pull the trigger, as he's reportedly already assembling his staff.

Daboll will become the fifth candidate to interview for the Browns job, joining Ravens Offensive Coordinator Greg Roman, Kansas City Chiefs Offensive Coordinator Eric Bieniemy, San Francisco 49ers Offensive Coordinator Robert Saleh and former Green Bay Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy.

The Dallas Cowboys hired McCarthy as their head coach Monday, according to multiple reports, scratching him off Cleveland's wish list.

While Daboll may not be the favorite to get the Browns job, he already has history with the organization. He was Cleveland's offensive coordinator for two seasons (2009-10) under former Head Coach Eric Mangini, and Daboll has also been a coordinator with the Miami Dolphins (2011) and Kansas City Chiefs (2012).

Steelers: Big Ben's Recovery Status to be Updated in February

After playing almost the entire 2019 season without quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, the Steelers will welcome his return in 2020. However, the timetable for Roethlisberger to begin throwing after his September elbow surgery has yet to be decided.

At his season ending press conference, Head Coach Mike Tomlin said Roethlisberger was scheduled for a February examination that would update his progress.

"That will be significant in terms of mapping out what is next," Tomlin said via the Pittsburgh Tribune.

Tomlin also said he was comfortable with Mason Rudolph remaining as Roethlisberger's backup, ahead of Devlin "Duck" Hodges. But after missing the playoffs for the second straight season, the Steelers are counting on Roethlisberger making a full recovery and playing at a high level.

Roethlisberger will turn 38 years old in March, and it remains to be seen how much longer he plays. But while the rest of the AFC North is going young at quarterback, the Steelers' immediate future remains firmly tied to Roethlisberger.

*Bengals: Cincinnati Staff to Coach in Senior Bowl  *

Already holding the No.1 pick, the Bengals hope to get a leg up on the draft process when their staff works at the Senior Bowl, which will be played Jan. 25.

The Bengals and Lions coaching staff will run practices during the week, giving them face-to-face insight on some of the draft's top prospects. The Bengals are expected to take LSU quarterback Joe Burrow with the No. 1 pick, but the Bengals need a strong 2020 draft from top to bottom after finishing with the NFL's worst record (2-14).

"Coaching in the Senior Bowl is a great opportunity for us to learn about these players," Bengals Head Coach Zac Taylor said via the team's website.

"You get a chance to spend a full week with the players and learn what they're about. We will be looking for leadership, character and talent. To get a chance to coach them up close and in person is a great opportunity for our staff."

Cincinnati currently holds seven draft picks in 2020, one pick in every round. In addition to a quarterback, the Bengals could be in the market for a wide receiver with A.J. Green on the verge of becoming a free agent.

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