The last time the Browns saw Kyle Shanahan, he was baffling them with well-timed and well-designed bootlegs and play-action passes as offensive coordinator of the Washington Redskins. Backup quarterback Kirk Cousins, starting for the injured Robert Griffin III, went 26-for-37 for 329 yards and two touchdowns to lead a 38-21 win that kept Washington marching toward the playoffs in 2012.
Shanahan is looking for work and new Browns coach Mike Pettine is looking for a proven offensive coordinator, and they may be a match. Shanahan will interview for the job today, the team confirmed.
The Browns also plan to interview Oakland Raiders quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo on Thursday.
Shanahan, 34, was fired a day after this season ended, along with head coach and father, Mike. The Redskins went 3-13 and the Shanahans reportedly didn’t mesh with Griffin, who struggled after a strong rookie season.
Kyle Shanahan was coordinator in Washington for four years and ran a version of the West Coast Offense, adding some read-option when Griffin arrived. The Redskins ranked in the top 10 in yards the last two years, and led the league in yards per play in 2012. They ranked fourth in points in 2012, but slumped to 23rd this year.
Before joining his dad with the Redskins, Shanahan was coordinator for two years with the Houston Texans. He was hired in 2008 at 28 years old, the youngest coordinator in the league, and the Texans ranked third and fourth in yardage, 10th and ninth in scoring.
Shanahan interviewed with the Dolphins and Ravens to be coordinator but wasn’t hired.
DeFilippo, a Youngstown native, returned to Oakland in 2012 for his second stint as quarterbacks coach. He was offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach for San Jose State in 2010-11.
He worked on the same Jets staff with Pettine in 2009, serving as assistant quarterbacks coach under head coach Rex Ryan. Pettine was defensive coordinator in New York for four years before taking the same job in Buffalo for 2013.
The Browns expressed interest in former Texans coach Gary Kubiak, but he was hired by the Ravens on Monday. The Cowboys denied a request by Cleveland to interview Bill Callahan, according to ESPN.com.
Pettine sold CEO Joe Banner during the interview process with his commitment to having an aggressive offensive system. Despite being a defensive coach, Pettine believes it’s important to be explosive.
“We want to play great defense, but at the same time, I don’t want to feel like it’s the AFC North, it’s going to be low-scoring, bad weather,” he said Thursday. “The object of the game is to score points and outscore your opponent. I think you want to build as high-powered offense as you can and if you have the lead have the ability to throttle it back.
“(Bill) Belichick has taken that and is the model for that philosophy. A defensive head coach, one of the greatest defensive minds this league has seen, yet he is known more for his high-scoring offenses. He’s used his expertise in helping the other side of the ball.”
** The Titans hired Mike Sullivan as assistant offensive line coach. He was co-line coach with the Browns last season in his third stint with the organization. He also coached offensive linemen from 2001-04 and 2007-08.