Sources: Browns eye Schottenheimer for 2009
The Cleveland Browns are formulating a plan that ultimately could lead to the return of Marty Schottenheimer as their coach for the 2009 season, according to sources.
The Browns would also be open to considering Bill Cowher if he sends stronger signals that he's ready to return, the sources said.
$2.7 million per year, the sources said. However, Lerner is contemplating a different authority -- or "voice" of the franchise -- that can filled by an experienced coach like Cowher or Schottenheimer, the sources said.
Schottenheimer recently said he had no plans to return to the sidelines, but sources said he would consider coming back "for the job ... with a team that has a good core of talent."On his weekly show on Sirius NFL Radio, the 65-year-old Schottenheimer was asked if he was in the mix to coach again in Cleveland. "I don't see that as being likely at all," he said. "First of all, nobody has presented me with an overture and, secondly, I've kind of aligned myself and my life kind of where it is and if they want to pay me $30 million a year I'll have to talk about it. I don't see it [as being] likely." Obviously, Schottenheimer was joking about the salary, but Lerner will likely pay whatever's necessary to get his team, which won 10 games last season, turned around quickly. Crennel has three years remaining on a contract extension he signed after last season. That deal is worth close to $4 million per season. Schottenheimer, 65, was fired by the San Diego Chargers after leading the team to a 14-2 record in 2006 and a first-round playoff bye. But a home second-round playoff loss to the New England Patriots and a broken relationship with general manager A.J. Smith led to a surprising dismissal in February 2007. Several Chargers players were upset that Schottenheimer was fired. Schottenheimer was the Browns' defensive coordinator under Sam Rutigliano in 1980 but took over as head coach when Rutigliano was fired midway through the 1984 season. Schottenheimer had a 44-27 record with the Browns, won three divisional titles, had four playoff appearances and two AFC Championship Game appearances before he was fired by owner Art Modell. Overall, in coaching stints with the Browns, Chiefs, Redskins and Chargers, Scottenheimer is one of only seven coaches with at least 200 career victories. His playoff record is 5-13. Crennel was unaware of the report on Schottenheimer, which surfaced moments before the Browns and Titans kicked off. "I can't be worried about that," he said. "Rumors and stories, they're going to be out there. When you lose, that's what happens. Not only for me but for other people in the league." Chris Mortensen is a senior NFL analyst for ESPN. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.