Cleveland Browns Coaching Search: 5 Possible Candidates to Become Head Coach

Giancarlo Ferrari-KingFeatured ColumnistJanuary 7, 2013

Cleveland Browns Coaching Search: 5 Possible Candidates to Become Head Coach

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    With Chip Kelly out of the picture and Doug Marrone heading to Buffalo, the Cleveland Browns have restarted their search for a new head coach.

    Below I take a look at five candidates who could end up becoming the next head coach of the Browns. From long shots to sure things, the search continues for leadership in Ohio.

    Start the slideshow to see the list.

Marc Trestman

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    As first reported by ESPN, one of the top coaches north of the border, CFL Montreal Alouettes head coach Marc Trestman, has an interview scheduled with the Browns in Chicago.

    Trestman, a longtime NFL offensive assistant coach and quarterback guru, may sound like an off-beat, brand-new name to the majority of football fans, but he has shown success throughout his coaching career.

    The questions I have for the Browns is one, does Trestman know people within the organization? Two, why Marc Trestman? And three is this just a knee-jerk reaction by the Browns now that Chip Kelly and Doug Marrone are off the board?

    Whatever the reason is, Marc Trestman's name is now a big part of the head coaching search.

Lovie Smith

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    It may seem like a long shot at the moment, but former Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith has to remain on the list of possible head coaches for the Browns in 2013.

    Smith achieved a series of great things during his tenure in Chicago including an 81-63 win-loss record.

    What gets lost in all of the Bears' troubles is that over the years Lovie Smith has become a proven leader. A leader who has helped produce some of the best defensive units in the NFL time and time again.

    Outside of his fantastic work on the defensive side of the ball, what should intrigue the Browns most about Lovie Smith is the fact he leads with a calm and steady hand. And that, my friends, are both things the Cleveland Browns organization has been missing for a very long time.

Bruce Arians

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    Bruce Arians' 2012 season came to a heart-breaking, mysterious end. Hospitalized with an illness prior to the Ravens, Colts playoff game Sunday, Arians was unable to attend or call plays for the team he helped lead all season long.

    Unlike most of the other coaching candidates in the NFL, Bruce Arians proved without a shadow of a doubt that he can be a high-caliber head coach for a long time.

    An offensive guru and leader of men, Bruce Arians did such a great job in Indianapolis that he should not not only be considered for Coach of the Year status but also receive any job he wants in 2013.

    Whether Arians stays another year in Indy or decides to become a head coach elsewhere, the Browns should keep him on their radar.

Mike Zimmer

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    Forget the mantra that only offensive-minded guys should be head coaches in this league now.

    There's no doubt that Mike Zimmer should be an NFL head coach next season. Possessing one of the premier defensive minds in the game today, Zimmer, the emotional tour de force of the Cincinnati Bengals, would be a great hire for the Browns organization.

    Not just an X's and O's kind of guy, Mike Zimmer is a die-hard, expressive coach, who grooms young men into stars. The job he has done in Cincinnati alone will give him a chance to finally become an NFL head coach over the next season or two.

    If Cleveland decides to start pursuing Mike Zimmer to be their leader, it could pay off big time five years down the road.

Ray Horton

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    Fellow Bleacher Report columnist James Dudko wrote a great piece earlier today explaining why Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator Ray Horton should become the next head coach of the Cleveland Browns.

    With his defensive expertise and his ability to turn a unit around quickly, Ray Horton would in fact be a very good fit for a young Browns team.

    Horton is another player’s coach, who has the ability to create change and growth at a blinding rate. His hard-nosed style, and understanding of commitment would give the Browns a fresh face to roam their sidelines.

    For those reasons alone Ray Horton would be a wonderful addition to the Browns if they choose to go in that direction.