While their playoff hopes are waning, much is still being evaluated within the Cleveland Browns organization in the final two weeks of the NFL season — especially in regards to head coach Freddie Kitchens and his coaching staff.
Considering the struggles of the franchise since returning to the league in 1999, it’s hard to pin down what could qualify as a collapse. But the much-hyped Browns have stumbled to a 6-8 record, have struggled with discipline and offensive consistency and could be eliminated from playoff contention with a loss to the AFC-leading Ravens on Sunday.
Last week, the team was outplayed by a 4-9 Arizona Cardinals team in a 38-24 loss.
If the Browns do decide to go in another direction, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports is reporting that former Ohio State coach Urban Meyer would be a serious candidate.
La Canfora cites multiple sources that say the Haslams — who the Browns — are close with Meyer and Cleveland could represent his “best chance” of leaping to the NFL.
Here’s how Meyer’s link to the Browns owners was laid out.
“Jimmy Haslam has a very strong bond with Meyer, the sources said, and the two have long been confidants. Meyer has often shared inside information on his Ohio State players with the owner in the past — with the owner privileged to player reports and potential red flags that most if not all teams close to that program were not aware of. It was not uncommon at all for the men to be in conversation and act as a sounding board for one another, and Meyer has a unique cache in Ohio based on his successful stint with the Buckeyes.”
One source was also noted in the report as saying: “Jimmy Haslam is as close to Urban Meyer as he is with the Mannings.”
Urban Meyer in the Mix for NFL Job
Meyer is currently a college football analyst for FOX Sports, but he’s been linked to multiple jobs at the NFL level. Along with the Browns, the Cowboys and Redskins have also been touted as landing spots for various reasons.
ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter reporter that Meyer is “definitely” interested.
“I think Urban Meyer is interested in coaching in the NFL. I think he has an interest and would be open to talking to people about it. I think he is definitely interested in getting to the NFL if that were an option. He would sit down, he would listen and if the right opportunity I think he would be interested,” Schefter said on Get Up.
Urban Meyer Would ‘Absolutely’ Consider Cowboys
Meyer gushed about the Cowboys while on The Herd With Colin Cowherd in November when asked about Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley potentially taking the gig with Jason Garrett on the hot seat.
“Pure speculation, because I know [Riley], but I don’t know him like that, but that’s the one [job]. That’s the New York Yankees, that’s the Dallas Cowboys, that’s the one. Great city, you got Dak Prescott, you got Zeke Elliott, you got a loaded team, and I can’t speak for [Riley] obviously — I hate to even speculate — because I don’t know him, that’s really not fair, but to me, that’s the one job in professional football that you kind of say, ‘I gotta go do that.’”
When asked about his own interest in the Dallas job, Meyer didn’t hold back.
“Absolutely. Absolutely,” said Meyer, who has three college football national titles to his name. “That one? Yes.”
Meyer was also spotted in the box of Redskins owner Daniel Snyder at last Sunday’s Redskins-Eagles game. He has two former players on the team in rookies Terry McLaurin and Dwayne Haskins.