Cleveland Browns defensive coordinator candidates: Who will replace Joe Woods?

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Published: Jan. 9, 2023 at 2:44 PM EST
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - The Cleveland Browns search for a new defensive coordinator is underway. So who will replace Joe Woods and serve as the new coaching leader Myles Garrett, Denzel Ward and the rest of the Browns defense starting in 2023?

The Browns have already asked permission from three teams to speak with potential candidates. Those teams are the Pittsburgh Steelers, New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks.

Those teams can decline the request. Of the three teams listed above, the Steelers could say no to the Browns from the simple fact that they are division rivals. That did not happen.

The Browns are interested in speaking with Steelers senior defensive assistant coach Brian Flores. He not only brings plenty of experience as a defensive coach, Flores also has NFL head coaching experience. Flores was formerly the head coach of the Miami Dolphins.

As you may recall, Flores filed a lawsuit against the league and several of its teams alleging racial discrimination in its hiring procedures. Flores was let go by the Dolphins following the 2021 season.

Patriots linebackers coach Jerod Mayo is also on the Browns radar.

An opportunity to call plays is what Mayo is looking for. In New England, the defensive play calling is handled by Steve Belichick, the son of head coach Bill Belichick.

For those who are into analytics, former Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz is also going to receive an interview from the Browns. Schwartz served as an assistant for Mike Vrabel and the Tennessee Titans.

Other candidates include Seattle Seahawks assistant Sean Desai and Wisconsin Badgers defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard. Desai is unlikely to interview this week with the Seahawks in the playoffs. Seattle takes on San Francisco in the NFC wildcard round on Saturday.