The Browns will begin the interview process this week as they search for a coach.
Cleveland was granted permission to interview Seahawks first-year defensive coordinator Dan Quinn and Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, a league source told The Chronicle-Telegram on Tuesday.
The Browns’ policy is to not comment on anything involving the coaching search.
The Patriots and Seahawks have first-round byes in the playoffs, so the interviews must take place before the end of the weekend. With the Seahawks and Patriots preparing for the postseason, the Browns would likely fly to the Pacific Northwest and New England to conduct the interviews.
NFL rules stipulate a contract cannot be agreed to until the candidate’s team is eliminated from the playoffs.
McDaniels, 37 and a Canton native, declined a request by the Browns last year because he had only been back in New England for a year and didn’t want to move his family. But he has a relationship with Browns general manager Michael Lombardi and they share a connection to Patriots coach Bill Belichick.
McDaniels was 32 years old when he became head coach of the Broncos in 2009. He went 11-17 before getting fired in his second season. The Patriots’ offense ranked third in scoring (27.8 points per game) and seventh in yards (384.5) during the regular season.
Belichick wouldn’t say Tuesday whether the team had given the Browns permission to interview McDaniels.
“I’m not going to get into any of that,” Belichick said. “The procedures are in place with the league and so forth, so any comments on that I don’t think are appropriate, so I won’t make any.”
Seattle coach Pete Carroll was much more forthcoming when discussing Quinn, who’s in his first year as Seattle’s coordinator after two years as coordinator/defensive line coach at the University of Florida. He’s in his 11th year as an NFL assistant and has spent most of his career working with the defensive line.
The Seahawks’ defense ranked first in the league in points allowed (14.4 per game), yards per game (273.6) and yards per play (4.4).
“Dan is a terrific football coach, he’s got tremendous background in the game, he’s got great character about the game, he’s a great communicator, he’s tough, he knows what he wants,” Carroll said. “Getting along with people, working with people, and also managing the talent, all of that. He’s really well-equipped.”
The Browns also requested permission to interview Broncos offensive coordinator Adam Gase and Cardinals defensive coordinator Todd Bowles. Gase, in his first year in the job, declined the request until after the Broncos are done with the playoffs.