CLEVELAND (AP) – The Browns can’t make it through one offseason without upheaval.
While owner Jimmy Haslam decided to retain coach Mike Pettine and general manager Ray Farmer for another season, the Browns are in need of a new offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. Coordinator Kyle Shanahan and coach Dowell Loggains are no longer with the team, a person familiar with the decisions told The Associated Press on Thursday.
Shanahan and Loggains spent one year on Pettine’s staff but will not be back for the 2015 season, said the person who spoke on condition of anonymity because the Browns have not commented on the moves.
It’s not immediately clear if the 35-year-old Shanahan asked to be released from his contract or was fired. He and Loggains were both under contract for another year.
Fox Sports first reported the departures.
Shanahan, who previously worked in Washington, is expected to interview for Buffalo’s head coaching vacancy. His father, Mike Shanahan, also interviewed with the Bills and has drawn interest from several NFL teams.
During his season-ending news conference last week, Pettine said he still had confidence in Shanahan’s offensive system despite the Browns losing their last five games. Pettine said then that he expected Shanahan to be back for a second season. Cleveland’s coaching staff reconvened this week to evaluate players and plan ahead.
The Browns’ sudden separation from Shanahan after a season in which he dealt with a quarterback competition, key injuries and the 10-game suspension of former Pro Bowl wide receiver Josh Gordon could point to larger problems within the organization. Pettine’s decision to bench starting quarterback Brian Hoyer in favor of rookie Johnny Manziel backfired.
Manziel looked overwhelmed and unprepared as the Browns were shut out Dec. 14 by Cincinnati, a loss that ended Cleveland’s playoff hopes. The team selected the former Heisman Trophy winner in the first round of last year’s draft.
Change has been a consistent trend in Cleveland – at quarterback and with coaches. Pettine is the fifth head coach since 2008, and Shanahan was the team’s fifth coordinator since 2009 as only Brian Daboll (2009-10) has been able to hang onto the job for more than one season.
Loggains’ claim to fame with the Browns was telling an Arkansas radio station that Manziel sent him a text message during the draft that the quarterback wanted to come to Cleveland so they could “wreck this league together.” Loggains said he forwarded the text to Pettine and Haslam. The Browns moved up from No. 26 to No. 22 and selected Manziel, who spent the first 13 games backing up Hoyer before making two starts.
Last week, Farmer flatly denied that Haslam pushed for him to draft Manziel.
“I know a lot of people want to stick that on Jimmy, but for the world to hear, Jimmy Haslam did not make that call,” Farmer said. “He didn’t try to influence the decision.”
Shanahan’s system included a zone-blocking scheme and a lot of play action. Cleveland finished 23rd in total offense and 27th in scoring.
Shanahan was forced to navigate through key injuries as former Pro Bowl center Alex Mack broke his left leg and was lost for the season and tight end Jordan Cameron missed time with a concussion. The Browns also released running back Ben Tate, leaving Shanahan with two rookie backs. He was also without Gordon, who led the league with 1,646 yards receiving in 2013, for the first 10 games while he served an NFL drug suspension.
Next season, the Browns offense will be starting from scratch like they do almost every year.
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