CLEVELAND — Browns CEO Joe Banner once found a young head coach not far from the frozen tundra of Green Bay’s Lambeau Field.
He’s looking there again.
A person familiar with the matter says Cleveland will interview Green Bay quarterbacks coach Ben McAdoo about itsr head coaching job. McAdoo, who spent the past two seasons working with star QB Aaron Rodgers, will meet with Banner and Browns owner Jimmy Haslam this week, said the person who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the team is not publicizing information about the search.
The interview was also reported by the NFL Network and Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
In 1999, Banner, then an executive with Philadelphia, plucked a young Andy Reid off Green Bay’s staff and hired him as the Eagles coach. Banner was the only one to interview Reid, and the Eagles went on to make five NFC title games and a Super Bowl under the mustachioed coach, now with Kansas City.
Like Reid, the 36-year-old McAdoo served as Packers tight ends coach before taking over the team’s quarterbacks. He’s expected to draw interest from other teams with head coaching vacancies.
McAdoo will be the fourth known candidate to interview with the Browns, who are looking for their seventh full-time coach since 1999 — and fourth in six years. The team has interviewed New England offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, Seattle defensive coordinator Dan Quinn and Arizona defensive coordinator Todd Bowles.
The Browns, who fired Rob Chudzinski following a 4-12 season, also received permission to speak with Denver offensive coordinator Adam Gase. But he told the team he wants to wait until after the playoffs before doing any interviews. The Broncos host San Diego on Sunday.
McAdoo became available after the Packers were eliminated last weekend by San Francisco, which won on a game-ending field goal by former Browns kicker Phil Dawson.
Banner has often proudly referenced his hiring of Reid. In fact, at the news conference announcing Chudzinski’s dismissal, Banner said he kept Reid after a rough first season.
“When we hired Andy Reid in Philadelphia, he won five games the first year,” Banner said. “There was no consideration for making a change and we stayed together for 14 years.”
The Browns are also reportedly interested in meeting with Auburn coach Gus Malzahn and Vanderbilt’s James Franklin.
The team is not confirming any interviews.