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Cleveland Browns hire John DeFilippo as new OC

At long last, the Cleveland Browns have zeroed in on their new offensive coordinator.

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Wednesday, citing a team source, that the Browns are hiring Raiders quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo as the team's new play-caller, replacing the departed Kyle Shanahan. The Browns later confirmed the hire.  

DeFilippo spent the past five years coaching the likes of Carson Palmer, Terrelle Pryor, Matt McGloin and second-round pick Derek Carr. He now inherits a quarterback group filled with Johnny Manziel and plenty of questions.

The Browns spread a wide net to fill the void left by Shanahan, who voiced displeasure with the friction between coaches and front-office members. With names like Greg Roman and Marc Trestman landing elsewhere, Pettine has doubled back to hand-pick the assistant he told reporters "had an outstanding interview" before Cleveland hired Shanahan last winter.

Just 36, DeFilippo worked closely with former Raiders play-caller and Broncos quarterbacks coach Greg Knapp, who went out of his way last offseason to compare the young coach to former Denver play-caller Adam Gase.

"When I was coordinator in Oakland, I said to him, 'You're the quarterback coach, and it's your job to coach me out of the room,'" Knapp said, per The Plain Dealer. "He did that in a half a year's time -- and that was seven years ago, when he was really young."

Knapp credited DeFilippo with fluidly teaching an option-based, Pistol-heavy attack to Pryor in 2013 before completely re-designing a pocket-centered scheme for McGloin. His work with Carr this season was admirable.

DeFilippo now takes on his greatest challenge yet in Cleveland, where the team must discover what they have in Manziel -- if anything -- while heat-seeking legitimate competition in free agency and the draft. With so few juicy prospects on either front, Cleveland's new offensive coordinator will be tested right away.

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