Reports: Williams not expected to become Browns’ fulltime head coach

The Sports Xchange

December 31, 2018 at 10:39 pm.

With their 7-8-1 season over, the Cleveland Browns can now turn their full attention to the search for their next head coach.

One candidate reportedly has been virtually eliminated already.

Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, who had a 5-2 record as the Browns’ interim head coach after replacing Hue Jackson, is not expected to be named the Browns’ fulltime head coach, multiple media outlets reported Monday.

Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reported that Williams “isn’t considered a front-runner or anything close for the full-time job. He will, however, receive an interview.”

Browns offensive coordinator Freddie Kitchens will be among the candidates interviewed by general manager John Dorsey for the Cleveland head coaching job, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported.

“He’s done a nice job in his role as offensive coordinator and I think this organization wants to get to know him a little bit better and we’ll eventually get him in an interview slot and just move forward,” Dorsey told the Plain Dealer.

The Browns have already reached out to former Packers coach Mike McCarthy for an interview, according to The Toronto Sun.

Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer reported that the Baltimore Ravens’ contract talks with head coach John Harbaugh have stalled. If that is the case, a team like the Browns might be interested in a trade to acquire Harbaugh.

In any case, Baker Mayfield provides a selling point for any Browns head coaching candidate. Mayfield threw three touchdown passes against the Ravens’ No. 1-ranked defense in a 26-24 loss on Sunday.

“Things didn’t go well for us in the first half,” said Mayfield, according to the Plain Dealer. “But we came out in the second half and played much better. To play like we did on the road, against the number one defense, is a great experience for us. They’re a great team, they’re going to the playoffs, and they’re the division champions. Next year, we want to be in their spot.”

His 27 touchdown passes for the season set a record for a rookie, topping the 26 established by Peyton Manning and tied by Russell Wilson. And Mayfield did it in just 13 starts.

“It’s pretty special to me, considering some of the other guys that are on that list,” Mayfield said. “But it’s not just me, even though I get credit for the record. A lot of guys helped me. On the offensive line, the running backs and receivers, this is their record too.”

Mayfield completed 23 of 42 passes for 376 yards, with three TDs and three interceptions in the loss.

“Obviously we would have liked to have won,” said Mayfield. “But, there are a lot of positives we can find from this game. Playing on the road in this kind of atmosphere, we put ourselves in a position to win. When we fell behind, but we never gave up. We just kept playing hard.”

When the Browns conducted coaching searches in the past, the lack of an established starting quarterback kept some candidates away. That should not be the case this time.

–DE Myles Garrett finished the season with 13.5 sacks, a half sack shy of the official club record of 14, set by Reggie Camp in 1984. Bill Glass recorded 14.5 sacks for the Browns in 1965, but that was before sacks became an official statistic.

–RB Nick Chubb, a rookie, surpassed 1,000 yards for the season during Sunday’s game. But he later lost five yards on a fourth-quarter run. He finished the season with 996 rushing yards.

–DT Larry Ogunjobi played the final four games with a torn biceps. He told the Plain Dealer on Monday that he won’t have surgery and he expects to be ready by minicamp.

–WR Jarvin Landry had five receptions for 102 yards on Sunday. It was his fourth game of the season with more than 100 receiving yards and he finished just shy of 1,000 yards for the season, winding up with 976.

–LB Joe Schobert had 13 total tackles on Sunday. It was one shy of his season high achieved in an overtime loss to the Oakland Raiders.