Early this morning, Browns fans received an email from owner Jimmy Haslam. It's not an apology for Cleveland not having a head coach yet, but it's not quite an explanation either.
The full text of the letter, via the Plain Dealer:
I thought it was important to take a little bit of time to update you on our head-coach search. We have had the opportunity to speak to a number of outstanding candidates. We have purposefully been very methodical in our approach. We believe it is very important to stay disciplined to this process and to interview all of the candidates on our list. We are strongly committed to finding the right person to coach the Cleveland Browns.
We understood from the beginning that if we wanted to speak to all of the coaches on our list that we may need to wait until they have completed their participation in the playoffs. We are prepared to wait as long as necessary because this is a very important decision. Everyone in our organization is committed to finding the right leader for our team.
We believe the head coach of the Cleveland Browns to be a very attractive position. We have one of the youngest teams in the League, a roster that includes five Pro Bowlers. In addition, we have more salary-cap room than all but one NFL team. We also have three of the top 35 picks in the upcoming draft and five of the top 83 selections.
We are very much looking forward to adding a strong coach to our football team. On behalf of the Cleveland Browns, I cannot thank you enough for your valuable support and passion that you show for our team.
We look forward to communicating with you again after the search process is complete. Thank you again for your phenomenal support and loyalty.
The Browns, who surprisingly fired Rob Chudzinski after one year, have caught flak from fans for being one of two teams not to make a hire yet (Minnesota is the other). They haven't been idle: Cleveland has interviewed six potential candidates, four of whom have already said no.
(A possible reason: NFL Network says that candidates have been speaking with Chudzinski, who reportedly hasn't had positive things to say about his time in Cleveland.)
Ken Whisenhunt took the Tennessee job, while Green Bay QB coach Ben McAdoo signed on as Giants offensive coordinator. Arizona DC Todd Bowles took his name out of consideration, as did New England OC Josh McDaniels. Reports have McDaniels withdrawing after he was told he wasn't Cleveland's first choice, which is odd—why would the Browns tell him that?
James Franklin, Gus Malzahn, and Bill O'Brien were reportedly considered, but are now out of the picture.
Cleveland has also interviewed Mike Munchak and Seattle DC Dan Quinn. Denver OC Adam Gase is reportedly first on the Browns' wish list, but Gase turned down any interviews while the Broncos remain alive in the playoffs.
It's fun and easy to crap on the Browns for still being coachless, just because they're the Browns. But isn't hiring a hotshot coordinator whose team made it to at least the conference championship better than one of the usual coaching retreads? If Cleveland lands Quinn or Gase, it'll be (theoretically) a great move. And if both turn them down? Browns gonna Brown.