On Monday, the Cleveland Browns made some news when they made the first coach firing in the NFL this year official. The team officially dumped Hue Jackson, he of the 3-36-1 record during his time as Browns head coach, and elevated noted human colostomy bag Gregg Williams to the interim position in his place.
Now, there’s certainly no chance that the Browns keep Williams in that position. I mean, let’s give Browns’ GM John Dorsey a little credit here. So, with there officially being a coaching opening, speculation has already started about who the Browns might hire, and there’s a person on the Minnesota Vikings’ sideline that might be a fit for the job.
When the Vikings hired John DeFilippo in February to be their offensive coordinator, the consensus seemed to be that he was a short-term hire with larger aspirations. He did get a couple of head coaching interviews this past offseason, but opted to move to the Vikings as the OC instead. The folks from BetOnline have released their preliminary odds, and it appears they have DeFilippo on the short list, too.
DeFilippo is currently third on the list of favorites for the Browns’ job, behind Los Angeles Rams quarterback coach Zac Taylor and University of Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley. (Rams’ head coach Sean McVay was on top of the list momentarily, but yeah. . .that guy isn’t going anywhere.) I don’t know why Riley would want to leave Oklahoma, but Taylor could be a distinct possibility. Of course, so could DeFilippo.
The Browns’ job does have some intrigue to it as well. After all, they just spent a #1 overall pick on quarterback Baker Mayfield. . .which I guess could explain the Lincoln Riley speculation, since he was Mayfield’s coach in his Heisman-winning season. . .and they appear to have a solid young running back in Nick Chubb. The Browns also have a lot of really solid defensive talent, and there are probably going to be worse jobs that come open over the course of the year.
Cleveland would also likely be looking for someone with a solid track record of quarterback development, given Mayfield’s presence. Considering the work he did with Carson Wentz and Nick Foles, and what he’s doing so far this year with Kirk Cousins, it’s pretty safe to say that DeFilippo has that sort of touch.
All in all, John DeFilippo could be a solid candidate for the Cleveland job, or for lots of other teams. It may seem a bit early to speculate, but with the way the news cycle works these days, speculate we shall.