CLEVELAND — Doug Marrone’s looking for a second chance, and the Browns could give it to him.
The former Buffalo coach, who left the Bills following two seasons, interviewed with Cleveland for its coaching job Thursday — the third candidate to meet with the Browns’ search committee. Marrone has spent the past two seasons as an offensive assistant head coach in Jacksonville, where he primarily worked with the team’s offensive line.
The 51-year-old Marrone interviewed with the Browns in 2012, when he was a highly sought candidate following a successful run at Syracuse. And although he went 15-17 in two seasons with the Bills, some players grumbled about his coaching style and he eventually opted out of his contract.
The Browns are looking to replace Mike Pettine, who was fired after losing 18 of his last 21 games over two seasons. Cleveland’s next coach will be the franchise’s eighth since its expansion reboot in 1999.
On Wednesday, the team kicked off its search by meeting with Chicago offensive co-ordinator Adam Gase and Detroit defensive co-ordinator Teryl Austin.
The Browns also are expected to meet with Carolina defensive co-ordinator Sean McDermott, who was originally scheduled to sit down with owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam and the team's search committee on Thursday. McDermott will take a break during the team's bye before next week's playoff game to meet with the Browns.
The 41-year-old McDermott has no head coaching experience, but his defences have finished ranked in the top 10 in each of the past four seasons. The Panthers led the league with 39 takeaways this season.
Cleveland has at least four more interviews scheduled this week.
The team is expected to meet with Dallas secondary coach Jerome Henderson on Friday. The Browns will also speak with Bengals co-ordinators Hue Jackson and Paul Guenther as well as New England defensive co-ordinator Matt Patricia.