CLEVELAND -- Their head coach has settled in and his top assistants are coming soon. All the Cleveland Browns are missing is a general manager.
They may be waiting on one for a while.
|Tony Dejak / Associated Press|
|Eric Mangini is hard at work filling out his coaching staff with the Browns.|
Still in his first week on the job, new Browns coach Eric Mangini is expected to pick Rob Ryan as his defensive coordinator and Brian Daboll to run his offense in the next few days. Mangini, fired by the New York Jets and hired by the Browns last week to replace the fired Romeo Crennel, worked with both men in New England.
Ryan is the son of former NFL coach Buddy Ryan and his twin brother, Rex, is Baltimore's defensive coordinator and a candidate for the Jets' coaching job.
Both Ryan and Daboll, who coached New York's quarterbacks last season, were in Cleveland over the weekend to meet with Mangini. Ryan was the Patriots' linebackers coach from 2000-2003 when Mangini worked with the club's defensive backs.
Daboll will replace Rob Chudzinski, who was considered a rising star when the Browns scored 402 points in 2007. But Cleveland's offense was ravaged this season by injuries, changed starting quarterbacks halfway through, and failed to score a touchdown in its final six games. Chudzkinski, who signed a two-year extension last January, interviewed with San Francisco coach Mike Singletary about his coordinator opening a few days ago.
Meanwhile, the Browns are in a holding pattern in their search for a GM.
Owner Randy Lerner interviewed George Kokinis, Baltimore's director of pro personnel, on Sunday in New York. The meeting was productive but the Browns cannot offer Kokinis a job until the Ravens' season ends. Baltimore plays at Pittsburgh in Sunday's AFC Championship Game, meaning the earliest Kokinis could be hired by the Browns is Monday. If the Ravens advance, Kokinis would not be available until after the Super Bowl on Feb. 1 in Tampa.
Lerner is in no rush. Since firing GM Phil Savage and Crennel, he has felt getting the coach in place was more important than his top executive.
Kokinis has been at the top of Lerner's GM list since Mangini recommended him during his interview. Kokinis and Mangini have been friends since beginning their careers together in Cleveland during the 1990s.
Lerner, who also owns soccer club Aston Villa in the English Premier League, is in Europe and won't be back in the U.S. until later this week.
As of now, he has no other interviews scheduled for his GM vacancy.
The early front-runner to take over as Cleveland's GM is out of the mix.
Scott Pioli, New England's vice president of player personnel who interviewed with Lerner, will be introduced on Wednesday as Kansas City's new GM. Lerner had initially hoped to pair Mangini and Pioli together, but the two longtime friends may have had a falling out following the videotaping scandal.
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press