The Browns coaching search has taken some odd, meandering turns. But on Wednesday night Cleveland decided to get real crazy with the Cheez Whiz and we ended up in some bizarro world where Greg Schiano's name was briefly introduced as a potential, rumored candidate.
First off Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported that the Browns went down to Florida to interview a mystery candidate. Then FootballScoop.com reported that said mystery candidate was Schiano, which CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora confirms.
We'll pause briefly station identification while you digest that.
Anyway, yes, that was Greg Schiano, who was fired by Tampa Bay less than a month ago after just two seasons in Tampa Bay. Those seasons were marred by issues with other coaches (Schiano liked to crash the victory formation), issues with fans, a massive losing streak this season and issues with his players.
Just clarifying. Absolutely serious re: Browns meeting w Schiano today.— FootballScoop Staff (@footballscoop) January 23, 2014
Now, having said all of that. Schiano did do a nice job of righting the ship in Tampa Bay towards the end of the season. He made a four-win season feel like a moral victory. And he didn't burn a bunch of bridges on the way out.
Schiano also took Rutgers from the pit of irrelevance and turned them into a reasonably respectable team in the Big East. Working with the Browns wouldn't be that different.
It just doesn't seem to make a ton of sense for Cleveland to even look Schiano's way. And maybe they're not -- while writing this, multiple reports (including from the esteemed Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer) emerged that the Browns won't be hiring Schiano and were simply interviewing him.
Maybe the Browns gig will end up being Mike Pettine's to lose after all. That would be the first smart thing the Browns did in this search.