|Will the Browns take a shot at Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer? (US Presswire)|
After publicly getting smacked down by Oregon coach Chip Kelly -- who entertained the possibility of coaching the Browns before returning to Oregon -- Cleveland is still looking for a new coach to take over for the fired Pat Shurmur.
Considering Kelly reportedly was close to signing with the Browns, that had to sting. Plus, other first-wave candidates Doug Marrone took the Bills job and Penn State coach Bill O'Brien opted to stay at Penn State.
But obviously, life goes on in Cleveland, and the Browns have been figuring out their next candidates (and, ahem, the team still needs a general manager, as well).
Anyway, here are a few that we think have a good shot at the job:
Mike Zimmer, Bengals defensive coordinator: We still don't know why Zimmer hasn't been given a head coaching chance, but it's clear that the longtime assistant deserves one. He's done good work in Cincinnati, and he's well-respected across the league. One minor flaw is that Zimmer can be somewhat abrasive, and during interviews, he might come across as too brusque because he's not one to sugarcoat a team's deficiencies. That might not sit well with those who are in charge of hiring. But if Cleveland were to hire Zimmer, that would wound its AFC North rivals Bengals on two fronts.
Rob Chudzinski, Panthers offensive coordinator: His stock isn't as high as it was last season when he worked wonders with quarterback Cam Newton, who loudly had the best rookie season of any quarterback in history. This season, the team seemed to back-slide, and Newton didn't play well for much of it. But the team got hot late in the season, winning its last four and Newton played better toward the end of the year. Of course, it doesn't look great when the team for which you're coaching fires its general manager and needs a special reprieve to save the head coach. But Chudzinski got multiple interviews last year, and that has carried over to this offseason.
Marc Trestman, Montreal Alouettes head coach: Here's an interesting candidate that has stirred interest from a few NFL teams looking for a new coach, particularly with the Bears. Even though he's been the Alouettes head coach in the Canadian Football League since 2008, Trestman has NFL experience. He was the Browns offensive coordinator in 1989 (the team ranked 14th in points scored and 16th in yards gained that season) before moving on to run the offenses in San Francisco (1995-96), Arizona (1998-2000) and Oakland (2002-03).
Bruce Arians, Colts offensive coordinator: Now that he's been released from the hospital for the illness that kept him out of last week's Colts-Ravens wild-card matchup, he's ready to start the interview process with four teams. “I have to listen. I never thought this would happen. I have a great job, so it's going to have to be a perfect fit for me to leave,” Arians told the Indianapolis Star on Wednesday night. Arians, one season after he wasn't retained as the Steelers offensive coordinator, became a hot name when he gallantly led the Colts to a 9-3 record as the interim coach while Chuck Pagano was undergoing treatment for leukemia. He also was the Cleveland offensive coordinator from 2001-03.
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