Cleveland Browns: Eagles OC Marty Mornhinweg Could Be a Fit In CLE, Plus Others

Robert CobbCorrespondent IDecember 22, 2010

Cleveland Browns: Eagles OC Marty Mornhinweg Could Be a Fit In CLE, Plus Others

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    PITTSBURGH - AUGUST 26:  Marty Mornhinweg offensive coordinator of the Philadelphia Eagles talks with Kevin Kolb #4 during a preseason game at Heinz Field August 26, 2007 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    With all the talk and rumors of current ESPN analyst and Sandusky native, Jon Gruden being the No. 1 target to possibly succeed the current and embattled head coach, Eric Mangini, Cleveland seems to have their sights set on doing a complete coaching staff re-vamp.

    Now what if Gruden hypothetically rebuffs Cleveland?  

    Well it wouldn't be the first time that a high-profile coach has rebuffed Cleveland's advances, just think back to Bill Cowher when he decidedly to say at CBS Sports rather than coach in Cleveland as the most recent example.   

    And while Gruden hasn't given off any vibes that he isn't interested in coming back to his boyhood team, Browns president, Mike Holmgren had better have a Plan B just in case Gruden rejects the Browns advances.  

    In this sideshow, there will coaches while not as high-profile as Jon Gruden, these are still high-quality assistant head coaches and offensive coordinators who could possibly come to Cleveland in a new West Coast offense-style staff and almost all of these coaches are former branches of the "Mike Holmgren" tree of coaching.

    If Gruden turns down Cleveland, then theses coaches wouldn't be a bad consolation prize.   

Philadelphia Eagles Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator, Marty Mornhinweg

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    PITTSBURGH - AUGUST 26:  Assistant Head Coach and Offensive Coordinator Marty Mornhinweg of the Philadelphia Eagles looks on against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the NFL preseason game on August 26, 2007 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The S
    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    Currently the assistant head coach and offensive coordinator of the NFC East leading Philadelphia eagles, Marty Mornhinweg is one of the main reason for the emergence and re-birth of embattled quarterback, Michael Vick inot a NFL MVP candidate and the Eagles rise as a contender in the NFC.  

    Too many sports fans he is best remembered for deferring a coin toss in a overtime game when he was head coach of  the Detroit Lions, in two years as Lions head coach, Mornhinweg would compile a 5-27 record.  

    While I know this is not exactly sparking numbers, do not underestimate the fact the Mornhinweg and Holmgren have a long and deep history back to his days at California high school power, Oak Grove when he was the starting quarterback.  

    Holmgren and Mornhiweg go back to the mid-90's when in In 1995 and 1996, Mornhingweg was a coach with the Green Bay Packers, first as an offensive assistant, then as the quarterbacks coach.  

    Sine 2006, he has been calling playing alongside Andy Reid in Philadelphia and has plenty of experience in working with small, nimble and mobile quarterbacks in the West Coast system. 

    Brett Favre, Steve Young, Donovan McNabb, Jeff Garcia, Colt McCoy?  

    If Gruden does indeed pass on the browns do not be surprised to start hearing Mornhiweg's name come up as a fall-back option.

Houston Texans Quarterbacks Coach, Greg Knapp

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    Atlanta Falcons offfensive coordinator  Greg Knapp cheers a touchdown against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers  December 24, 2005 in Tampa.  The Bucs defeated the Falcons 27 - 24 in overtime.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
    A. Messerschmidt/Getty Images

    Currently the quarterbacks coach in Houston, Greg Knapp could be on Cleveland's radar as a possible new addition in the off-season.

    Knapp, a longtime West Coast disciple has worked with the likes of Michael Vick in Atlanta from 2004-2006, and is currently working with Matt Schaub of the Houston Texans.  

    While not a part of the Mike Holmgren coaching tree he is associated with other branches such as Jim Mora Jr, who was Holmgren's offensive coordinator and coach-in-waiting before he retired.  

    Look for Cleveland to target Knapp as their new possible offensive coordinator in 2011.

NFL Network Analyst, Jim Mora Jr

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    ST. LOUIS - NOVEMBER 29:  Head coach Jim Mora of the Seattle Seahawks looks on from the sideline against the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome on November 29, 2009 in St. Louis, Missouri.  The Seahawks beat the Rams 27-17.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat
    Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

    Currently an TV analyst on NFL Network, former Seattle Seahawks head coach, Jim Mora Jr may be another possible target for the Browns in the 2011 off-season.  

    Another West Coast disciple, Mora Jr coaches the Atlanta falcons from 2004-2006 alongside Gregg Knapp who was also featured in this slideshow and was Mike Holmgren's hand-picked successor in Seattle.  

    More would lead Atlanta to a 26-22 record with Michael Vick as his starting quarterback, after being fired in Atlanta he would land in Seattle  as assistant head coach and defensive backs coach. 

    Mora would go 5-11 in his only year coaching the Seahawks before getting replaced by Pete Caroll.  

    Considering how things go in the off-season look for Cleveland to target Mora as a assistant head coach/offensive coordinator spot.

Green Bay Packers Offensive Coordinator, Joe Philbin

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    GREEN BAY, WI - 2009:  Joe Philbin of the Green Bay Packers poses for his 2009 NFL headshot at photo day in Green Bay, Wisconsin.  (Photo by NFL Photos)
    NFL Photos/Getty Images

    Credited with the development of All-Pro quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator, Joe Philbin is sure to be on the short list of NFL coaching prospects in 2011.  

    Philbin has been the offensive coordinator since 2007 and along with head coach, Mike McCarthy helped in nurturing the young Aaron Rodgers into the Pro Bowl quarterback that he is today.

    Don't be surprised considering Holmgen's past connections in Green Bay that Philbin's name will be mentioned.

    Look for Cleveland to target Philbin as a possible head coach or assistant head coach position.

NFL Network Analyst, Steve Mariucci

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    TAMPA, FL - OCTOBER 02:  Head coach Steve Mariucci of the Detroit Lions watches from the sidelines as his team takes on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on October 2, 2005 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. The Buccaneers defeated the Lions 17-13.  (Phot
    Doug Benc/Getty Images

    Another current analyst on NFL Network that has ties to Browns president, Mike Holmgren, Steve Mariucci is a name that Browns fans will recognize from his day in Detroit as Lions head coach. 

    the Iron Mountain, Michigan native is a long-time associate of Holmgren back to their days together in Green Bay and San Francisco and also has experience in working with West Coast quarterbacks such as Steve young and Brett Favre.

    While his coaching career was a respectable 72-67 and a 3-4 post-season mark in both San Francisco and Detroit, it is the fact that his connections to Mike Holmgren and the West Coast offense that could make Steve Mariucci a possible sleeper candidate for Browns head coach.

Philadelphia Eagles Assistant Linebackers Coach, Mike Caldwell

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    PHILADELPHIA - 2008:  Mike Caldwell of the Philadelphia Eagles poses for his 2008 NFL headshot at photo day in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Getty Images)
    Getty Images/Getty Images

    While his name is not as well known to many NFL fans, his defense certainly is, as in the Philadelphia Eagles defense which is very blitz-heavy and aggressive, something that is seriously lacking in Cleveland.

    At the young age of 39, the former Cleveland Browns whom was drafted in 1993, has emerged as one of the hottest coaching prospects that is currently under the radar.  

    Caldwell played linebacker for the original Browns from 1993-95 and played for ten years in the NFL with Baltimore, Arizona, Philadelphia, Chicago and Carolina before becoming the defensive quality control coach for the eagles in 2008. 

    Look for the Browns to target Caldwell for a possible defensive line coach role.

Green Bay Packers Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator, Winston Moss

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    GREEN BAY, WI - 2009:  Winston Moss of the Green Bay Packers poses for his 2009 NFL headshot at photo day in Green Bay, Wisconsin.  (Photo by NFL Photos)
    NFL Photos/Getty Images

    If Cleveland browns president decides to go in a defense-miden direction then he can look no further than current Green bay Packers assistant head coach/defensive coordinator, Winston Moss.

    Hired by the Packers to become their linebackers coach on January 19, 2006, Moss a former NFL linebacker who played for Tampa Bay, Los Angeles and Seattle plays in the 3-4 defense that Holmgren prefers and seems to have a knack for developing young talent such as Clay Matthews Jr.  

    Moss could be a name to keep an eye in the off-season for the Browns.

New England Patriots Defensive Line Coach, Pepper Johnson

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    FOXBOROUGH, MA - 2009:  Pepper Johnson of the New England Patriots poses for his 2009 NFL headshot at photo day in Foxborough, Massachusetts.  (Photo by NFL Photos)
    NFL Photos/Getty Images

    Most current Browns fans may not know who Thomas "Pepper" Johnson is, but most older Browns fans(such as myself) know and remember the former hard-hitting Browns linebacker from his days in Cleveland in the 90's.  

    Currently the defensive line coach for the New England Patriots, Johnson has been coaching in New England since 2000 and although he has no ties with Holmgren, he also runs the preferred 3-4 defense of Mike Holmgren.  

    Johnson could possibly be in the mix for the Browns soon-to-be vacant defensive coordinator position in the off-season.

Baltimore Ravens Defensive Line Coach, Clarence Brooks

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    BALTIMORE - 2005:  Clarence Brooks of the Baltimore Ravens poses for his 2005 NFL headshot at photo day in Baltimore, Maryland.   (Photo by Getty Images)
    NFL Photos/Getty Images /Getty Images

    Wouldn't it be great if the Browns could steal a coach from within the AFC North?

    If there is maybe two coaches that might intrigue the Browns one of them has to be current defensive line coach, Clarence Brooks of the Baltimore Ravens.  

    Having seen the Baltimore Raven's formidable defensive front numerous times, Brooks could bring a inside knowledge of what tendencies to use against fellow division rivals and could also help in improving the anemic pass-rush that Cleveland currently has. 

    Perhaps, Brooks can also help develop Browns nose tackle, Ahytba Rubin into his own version of Haloti Ngata. 

    Brooks could be a target for a possible defensive coordinator position for the Browns.

Cincinnati Bengals Defensive Coordinator, Mike Zimmer

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    CINCINNATI - 2009:  Mike Zimmer of the Cincinnati Bengals poses for his 2009 NFL headshot at photo day in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by NFL Photos)
    NFL Photos/Getty Images

    The last coach to be featured in this slideshow, Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator, Mike Zimmer could be a intriguing target for Cleveland.

    With the impending fire-sale down in the Queen City, don't be surprised of the Browns at least make a run at him.  

    Zimmer's knowledge of the AFC North and his mastery of the Baltimore Ravens the last two years, Zimmer can give the Browns an edge over Baltimore and possibly Pittsburgh as he has also had some success against the Steelers.  

    Zimmer also runs the preferred 3-4 defense that Holmgren likes and also seems to have a knack for developing young talent such as ILB Rey Maualaga and ILB/DE Keith Rivers.

    While his defense this year was a shell of what it was last year when Cincinnati swept the AFC North, his experiences in Dallas and Atlanta are also an added bonus as he would bring experience and knowledge to Cleveland.  

    Look for Zimmer to be targeted by the Browns for a possible defensive coordinator role.  

Conclusion : Do Not Sleep on These Coaching Prospects.

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    PITTSBURGH - AUGUST 26:  Quarterback Kevin Kolb #4 of the Philadelphia Eagles discusses a play with Assistant Head Coach and Offensive Coordinator Marty Mornhinweg on the sidelines of the NFL preseason game against the Pittsburgh Steelerson August 26, 200
    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    These particular coaches, while not as high profile and renowned as the coaches featured in my "Eric Mangini Hot Seat" slide-show, they are still good coaches in their own right who are under the radar right now, but come playoff time they could become much more well-known depending on their individual teams success. 

    These coaches were identified based on their past connection to Mike Holmgren, shared West Coast offense ideals and preference in running a 3-4 defense and while some of these featured coaches may raise a collective eyebrow amongst Browns fans, do not be surprised to hear their names mentioned in what will be a very tumultuous and intriguing off-season on the shores of Lake Erie.