The Cleveland Browns have a “strong interest” in Urban Meyer as their next head coach, according to a tweet from Bruce Feldman on Thursday.
It’s easy to see why the success-starved Browns are interested in Meyer, particularly following a 6-10 season when it was clear from afar the team lacked culture and leadership. The 3-time national champion is more accomplished than, oh, the last six Browns coaches combined, and comes with an added bonus of carrying something close to a 100 percent approval rating among the Dawg Pound constituency.
Accepting the fact Meyer has never coached a day in the NFL, he would be the closest thing Cleveland could get to making a home-run hire short of convincing Bill Belichick and Nick Saban to give it another go in brown and orange.
But it takes two to tango, and whether Urban would be interested in coaching the Browns remains an open question.
Meyer is a coach who found the pain of victory 10 times stronger than the joy of victory, and stress-induced health issues pushed him out at both Ohio State and Florida. There remains no public evidence Meyer could return to coaching free of the debilitating headaches that forced him to walk away from Ohio State in 2018.
“I see some of these guys’ records because the NFL is so even,” Meyer said in 2018. “Some of these guys, their record is 74-58. I could never do that.”
— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) January 2, 2020
Meyer has publicly flirted with the soon-to-be-open Dallas Cowboys job, but those are the Dallas Cowboys and these are the Cleveland Browns. A 7-8-1 mark in 2018 represents the club’s high-water mark over the past dozen seasons, though the club’s talent adds up to greater than the 6-10 record the 2019 team produced.
Meanwhile, the Browns are scheduled to interview former Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy today and San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh defensive coordinator this weekend.
As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.
Update> At a press conference today Jimmy Haslam was asked directly about this report. His response:
Haslam on Urban Meyer, "Right now, we’re just focusing on people with NFL experience."
— Jake Trotter (@Jake_Trotter) January 2, 2020
Late afternoon update> When asked if he believed what Haslam said today, Feldman doubled down on his reporting:
.@BruceFeldmanCFB on @BullandFox re: whether he's buying Haslam's comment on Urban: "I am not. I think right now he's probably looking at the guys in front of him…but at the same time, what I've heard from multiple sources, they have a lot of interest in Urban Meyer." https://t.co/i9TOJFGRPS
— Keith Britton (@KeithBritton86) January 2, 2020