On Jan. 18, the day after the season ended with a playoff loss, coach Kevin Stefanski said he expected to bring back his entire coaching staff for a second season.
He might be forced to adjust his plan.
Defensive line coach Chris Kiffin will interview for the vacant defensive coordinator job with the Green Bay Packers, a league source confirmed to The Chronicle-Telegram on Tuesday. ESPN’s Rob Demovsky first reported the news.
Kiffin is one of several candidates to replace Mike Pettine, whose contract wasn’t renewed after the season. Pettine went 10-22 as coach of the Browns in 2014-15.
Kiffin just completed his first year with the Browns, leading the defense’s strongest unit. Myles Garrett had 12 sacks and four forced fumbles in 14 games and Olivier Vernon had nine sacks in 14 games, as Kiffin and coordinator Joe Woods gave the ends more freedom to move across the line.
According to ESPN, the Packers set up interviews Tuesday and Wednesday with Kiffin, Wisconsin coordinator Jim Leonhard, Saints defensive line coach/assistant head coach Ryan Nielsen, Eagles line coach/run game coordinator Matt Burke and Packers defensive backs coach Jerry Gray.
They’d already interviewed Chargers passing game coordinator Joe Barry, Washington defensive backs coach Chris Harris, Rams safeties coach Ejiro Evero and Falcons senior assistant Bob Sutton.
Kiffin was the pass rush specialist for the 49ers for two years before being hired in Cleveland by Stefanski. Kiffin spent the previous 11 years coaching in college, including a year as co-defensive coordinator at Florida Atlantic University.
His dad, Monte, is a longtime coach, including defensive coordinator for the Buccaneers from 1996-2008.
Kiffin’s brother Lane is the coach at the University of Mississippi.
HEADING TO TAMPA
The Browns and University Hospitals selected three local health care heroes to be the team’s special guests Sunday at Super Bowl LV in Tampa, Fla. They were chosen for their commitment to the community and for making personal and professional sacrifices throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr. Rana Hejal (medical director of UH Cleveland Medical Center’s intensive care unit), Rolando Mirandilla (registered nurse at UH Parma Medical Center) and Catherine Wilson (emergency room assistant nurse manager at UH Cleveland Medical Center) will receive airfare, hotel accommodations and tickets to the game between the Buccaneers and Chiefs.