McDaniels, top college names linked to Browns job

McDaniels, top college names linked to Browns job
January 2, 2014, 8:30 am
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Ravens unable to solve problems for postseason surge

As the Cleveland Browns interview for a new head coach, word is that New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels is the man in their sights, but if they are going to look at the college ranks, they reportedly will be aiming high.

The two college names being tossed around — including in The Plain Dealer — are Auburn’s Gus Malzahn and Vanderbilt’s James Franklin. In the “me, too” environment of the NFL, Chip Kelly’s success with the Philadelphia Eagles this season could spark a trend of campus-to-pros in this round of hiring.

The Browns already have interviewed Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, and they have until Sunday to speak with McDaniels. Both are available this week because their teams have byes for the first round of the playoffs.

[RELATED: Ravens may need new offensive coordinator]

Someone without a time limitation is Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, a one-time Browns assistant. Bowles, available at any time because his team didn’t make the playoffs, also has been mentioned as a candidate for the Minnesota Vikings job.

With the Houston Texans (Bill O’Brien) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Lovie Smith) having filled their jobs already, the Browns  will be competing with just three other teams for any candidate instead of five.