Mangini Locked, So What's Next?

If you thought the scoops would stop when the Browns announced a head coach, you would be sooooo very wrong. Lane Adkins and John Taylor blitz OBR subscribers this morning with a barrage of info that matches the aggressive scheme Rob Ryan would bring to Cleveland. Stand back.

--Sources close to the situation tell theOBR this evening that all may not be what it seems regarding New York Jets quarterbacks coach Brian Daboll. Early reports have the current Jets quarterback coach locked in as the new offensive coordinator on Eric Mangini's staff. Questions have arisen, however, regarding Daboll and his availability, as well as another coach who was under Mangini in New York who may actually be the new Browns sideline boss' first choice.

--New York Jets offensive line coach, Bill Callahan, remains under contract to the team and may not be released from his contract -- if at all -- until the Jets name a new head coach. One well-placed source described Daboll as Mangini's "fallback option" should he not be able to wrest Callahan from his Jets contract. Callahan, as well as Jets' offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, are candidates to become Mangini's replacement in New York. Callahan has been rumored to be in line to become offensive coordinator under Mangini in Cleveland, and that interest is indeed real. Additional speculation consists of Callahan possibly assuming the role of assistant head coach/offensive line with the Browns. Until Callahan is released from his contract, he cannot accept a role on Mangini's staff in Cleveland.

--Schottenheimer is still, technically, in the running to become the head coach of the Jets. According to league sources, however, Schottenheimer is unlikely to achieve that post and could become available if he's not retained by a new coaching staff. The timing of the Jets deciding on a new head coach could play a pivotal role in Mangini solidifying his staff, and has the potential to allow Marty's son to land in Cleveland in some capacity.

--As reported by ESPN, Rob Ryan, the defensive coordinator of the Oakland Raiders, will be available when his contract ends in the coming weeks. Sources have told theOBR that Ryan was one of the coaches Mangini spoke with in the days following his interview with owner Randy Lerner last week, and may have been offered and accepted the same role in Cleveland pending the expiration of his deal with Oakland.

--Mangini, a close, personal friend of Romeo Crennel, spoke at length with the deposed coach recently. Upon completion of the discussion, Crennel decided it was in the best interest of the organization -- and himself personally -- if he went in another direction. According to a source close to the former head coach, Mangini seeks to employ a similar defensive scheme as run in New England, New York and Cleveland, with a flair for aggressive and physical play at the point of attack. The latter, a source said, would be courtesy of Ryan should he be hired as the next defensive coordinator. "He's going to get at it. That's what he knows," the source said of Ryan's philosophy.

--Speaking of Crennel: while the door is all but shut on his remaining in Cleveland as Mangini's coordinator, it's being rumored that he could be retained as the club's defensive line coach. Crennel made his mark early on in his collegiate and NFL career at that position, and could be an option should Mangini need it.  At this time, though, that is merely an unconfirmed rumor.

--Mangini also spoke on with Browns defensive coordinator Mel Tucker in recent days. According to a team source, Tucker may be offered a position on the new coaching staff, but will not be the defensive coordinator. Reports have Tucker interviewing with Seattle for their coordinator position, and, a source said, the Browns would not prevent him from moving on to the position even as he's under contract and the club could technically prevent him from doing so under NFL guidelines.

--Browns offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski has been informed he will not be retained as the leader of the Cleveland offense, but could be offered another position on the offensive side of the staff. Chudzinski spoke with Mangini within the last week, although the content of the conversation at the time was not known.

--As for Chudzinski's future, there have been feelers sent, a source said, from at least two universities and one coach who has interviewed for an NFL head-coaching vacancy.

--A source close to Philadelphia Eagles general manager Tom Heckert tells theOBR that the Mangini hiring has not changed Friday's scheduled interview with owner Randy Lerner "as far as (Heckert) knows." The GM was assured that, the source said, he would have a "fair shot" at an executive position with the organization "regardless of what happened before the interview." Many voices around the league, however, believe the George Kokinis interview -- scheduled for Sunday -- is a mere formality. Kokinis is a close friend of the new coach and reportedly came highly recommended by Mangini during his interview with Lerner last week. However, Heckert is an experienced, solid football man who will interview well, and one who would not go through with the talks if he thought he had no shot at the position.

--Scott Pioli of the New England Patriots, the consensus front-runner for the Browns' general manager position a mere 10 days ago, remains a candidate. Pioli has not informed the Browns that he wishes to withdraw his candidacy, nor have the Browns completely shut the door on him as a viable candidate.

--To clear up one issue - the Browns requested to speak with former Denver Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan on more than one occasion. Shanahan, while cordial, was more intent on getting away from the game and spending time with family. The Browns did not feel Shanahan was in the mode to jump right back into the coaching fray and decided to pursue other options.

--The primary option, as it turned out, was clearly Mangini, especially after his interview and the subsequent talks which left Lerner ready for the season to start now. Mangini floored Lerner with his preparation, passion and drive to succeed, especially as Cleveland was where he got his start. Lerner was told by many personnel executives, team presidents and team owners that Mangini is solid, and a coach the vast majority would have an interest in were they in need of a head coach.

--Speculation arose around the hire of Mangini and why he wasn't publicly on the radar of teams seeking a new head coach. According to league sources, Mangini was expected to be named head coach of the Browns and that led teams who would've had an interest to turn their eyes away from Lerner's target and toward a more obtainable candidate.

The OBR Top Stories