The Browns saw the results of Jacques Cesaire’s work up close twice in the last month of the season and were impressed enough to hire him.
Cesaire will be Cleveland’s new defensive line coach, a league source confirmed to The Chronicle-Telegram on Saturday.
Cesaire spent the last two seasons as defensive line coach with the Houston Texans, who didn’t renew his contract after the season. The Browns beat the Texans on Dec. 24 then lost to them Jan. 13 in the wild card round of the playoffs.
Cesaire coached rookie No. 3 pick Will Anderson Jr., who had seven sacks and made the Pro Bowl as an alternate, and Jonathan Greenard, who had 12.5 sacks. The pair of ends helped the Texans tie for 13th in the league with 46 sacks.
They ranked sixth against the run (96.6 yards a game) and second per rush (3.5 yards).
Cesaire replaces Ben Bloom, who spent 2023 as line coach under coordinator Jim Schwartz, who was in his first year with the Browns and considers the line the engine of the defense. Whether Bloom remains on staff hasn’t been finalized, but he could return as run game coordinator, a title he held in 2021-22.
Cesaire hasn’t played for or coached with Schwartz.
Cesaire will inherit All-Pro defensive end Myles Garrett, who’s in the running to be NFL Defensive Player of the Year. Garrett had 14 sacks this year after a franchise-record 16 each of the previous two seasons.
Ends Ogbo Okoronkwo and Alex Wright and tackles Dalvin Tomlinson and Siaki Ika will also return.
Cesaire was assistant line coach with the Bills in 2020-21 and line coach with the University of San Diego from 2015-19. He played nine years in the league as a defensive end for the Chargers after going undrafted out of Southern Connecticut State.
Titans outside linebackers coach Ryan Crow also interviewed to be line coach.
The Browns were still deciding on offensive coordinator, with the favorites believed to be Kellen Moore, Brian Johnson and Jerrod Johnson. A decision was expected soon.