CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – Hue Jackson has begun the process of hiring an offensive coordinator while new general manager John Dorsey has begun reshaping the front office.
Jackson and the Browns requested and received permission from the Houston Texans to speak with quarterbacks coach Sean Ryan.
“We’ve granted permission for the Browns to talk to him and I think that’s a great opportunity for him to be able to do that if the Browns take that permission and bring him in for an interview,” Texans head coach Bill O’Brien told reporters in Houston Tuesday.
Ryan’s work with rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson this season clearly caught Jackson’s eye.
In 7 games – 6 starts – Watson completed 61.8 percent of his passes for 1,699 yards with 19 touchdowns and 8 interceptions before suffering a season-ending torn ACL injury. Watson, who went 3-3 as a starter, shattered Dan Marino’s rookie record for touchdown passes in a month (11) with 16 TD tosses in October earning him NFL Offensive Player of the Month and AFC Offensive Rookie of the Month honors.
O’Brien praised Ryan’s work in Houston.
“I think Sean has a real bright future in this league,” O’Brien said. “He works real hard, does a lot of different things for me. I feel strongly about our offensive staff. I think Sean’s goal is to call plays in the league and that’s why I don’t want to personally stand in his way of having an opportunity to do that.”
Texans backup quarterback Tom Savage Tweeted, “One of the best in the business” in response to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reporting that the Browns will talk to Ryan.
In addition to adding a coordinator, Jackson is likely to make a few other changes to his coaching staff in the coming weeks following an 0-16 season as he moves forward into his third season in Cleveland.
“It is something that I have thought about, adding a coordinator here,” Jackson said Monday morning. “I think the staff decisions for me will be from reflecting over the next week or so and just seeing where we are, seeing what I think in need to do to help this organization be the best it can be. I think that is one of my jobs as a leader is to go back and look how can we improve and how can we get better in all of the areas.”
It had been speculated that general manager John Dorsey would lead the search for a coordinator, a notion that Jackson denied Monday.
“I really appreciate John’s expertise. He has seen a lot of different ways to do things, and I will lean on him for things, but I don’t think John is making a decision on if we are going to have a coordinator or not,” Jackson said.
Dorsey is also busy looking to add to the personnel department.
Packers executive Alonzo Highsmith reportedly is being hired to rejoin Dorsey here in Cleveland as a vice president according to NFL Network.
Highsmith, who previously worked with Dorsey in Green Bay, spent nearly 2 decades with the Packers where he began as a regional scout and had become one of the top talent evaluators for the franchise.
The Browns have not confirmed or announced the addition of Highsmith.