Browns to interview Williams, Kitchens for HC vacancy

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Cleveland Browns general manager John Dorsey has a list and he's checking it twice -- perhaps more -- as the team prepares for the search of a new head coach.

While Dorsey wouldn't go into details on who is on the list as candidates, he announced Monday morning that two in-house candidates will interview for the position.

Dorsey said Gregg Williams, who has been the interim head coach since the firing of Hue Jackson, will interview Tuesday.

"I want to see his overarching vision and plan for this organization moving forward," Dorsey said. "I want to hear his thoughts on the team moving forward, but I also want to be able to explore multiple options out there in the National Football League and just see who fits for this organization moving forward. There might be some guys out there we don't know about yet. So I just want to explore all options and make the best decision for this organization."

Interim offensive coordinator Freddie Kitchens will also interview at an undetermined date.

"He's done a nice job in his role as an offensive coordinator," Dorsey said. "I think this organization wants to get to know him a little better. We'll eventually get him in an interview slot and just move forward."

Since parting ways with Jackson and offensive coordinator Todd Haley after a 2-5-1 start to the season, the Browns closed out the season on a 5-3 run to finish with a 7-8-1 record.

The offense, in particular, stepped up as Kitchens developed a close relationship with rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield, who established a new rookie record with 27 passing touchdowns on the season. Nineteen of Mayfield's touchdown passes came after the Browns made the sweeping changes.

"I think what he's done is I think he's moved the ball," Dorsey said of Kitchens. "He's got the ball out of the quarterback's hands quicker. I think he's put some flair and different route combinations together that help out the quarterback. Overall, he's kind of moved the bar on the offensive side of the ball."

The Browns will expand the search beyond Williams and Kitchens, of course, and Dorsey said there isn't a timetable to have a head coach in place. There's also the possibility that Kitchens will be retained as the offensive coordinator, though Dorsey said that would ultimately be up to the next head coach.

"Whoever the head coach will be in the future, I think he's got to have the ability to hire his staff," Dorsey said. "Will we make suggestions? Yeah, I mean that's what all people do. But at the end of the day it's gonna be whoever that head coach is, it's gonna be his decision if he stays or if he leaves."

Names, such as former Packers head coach Mike McCarthy, have already been linked to the Browns. Dorsey, however, declined to confirm whether McCarthy is on the team's radar.

"I have a lot of respect with Mike McCarthy and for what he's done," Dorsey said. "But again, great question, but I'm not going to go into details about who is and who is not on our list."

In the meantime, Cleveland will be an attractive destination for potential candidates and Dorsey won't be in a rush to land who he believes will be the correct fit.

"You'll know when it's the right guy," Dorsey said. "That's all I'm going to say."

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