The Cleveland Browns have hired former Minnesota Vikings head coach Brad Childress to become the team's offensive coordinator, confirming an earlier report Friday by NFL Network insider Jason La Canfora.
Childress is the first Browns offensive coordinator under head coach Pat Shurmur, who ran the offense himself during his first season as the team's head coach. Shurmur acknowledged after the season the need to beef up his staff and find someone to help with game planning.
Shurmur has said he was open to the idea of having his offensive coordinator call plays if the right coach was hired. A source told The Plain Dealer that Shurmur will continue calling plays for now, but the decision is still being discussed and has not been finalized.
The Browns had interest in Childress and former Green Bay Packers head coach Mike Sherman, reported La Canfora, who were both in demand as offensive coordinators. Sherman agreed to terms to take the same position with the Dolphins on Friday.
Childress has deep roots in the same West Coast system the Browns run under Shurmur. He and Shurmur were on Andy Reid's staff in Philadelphia for seven seasons together before Childress was hired by the Vikings. Childress was Philadelphia's offensive coordinator from 2003-05 when Shurmur coached the Eagles quarterbacks.
The addition of Childress should free up Shurmur during the week as he prepares for games.
"I think what it will do is allow me to just step back and look down some things in some areas that I may be able to contribute more," Shurmur said after the season. "That's a key piece."
Childress' agent, Bob Lamonte, also represents Shurmur and Browns president Mike Holmgren.
Childress will try to improve the Browns' dismal offense, which finished 30th in scoring and 29th in total yardage. He'll also have input in the team's vital decision at starting quarterback -- currently Colt McCoy -- a choice that could impact the club for years. The Browns hold the No. 4 overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft.
The Associated Press contributed to this report