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Browns eyeing Josh McDaniels for HC?

12/29/2013

UPDATE: As it turns out, the "bad vibes" noted below about Rob Chudzinski's grip on his coaching job with the Browns have proved to be true. Per ESPN NFL Insider Chris Mortensen, the team will fire Chud early this week.

Bill O'Brien, Ken Whisenhunt and Chip Kelly interviewed for the job last season. Kelly, of course, is with the Eagles now and O'Brien is the top candidate for the Texans' opening. Whisenhunt is expected to interview for multiple openings in the coming weeks, perhaps with the Browns again. Another prime candidate will be Patriots OC Josh McDaniels.

"If Browns fire Rob Chudzinski, Pats OC Josh McDaniels will be considered. McDaniels nearly hired Browns GM Mike Lombardi when HC in Denver," tweeted ESPN's Ed Werder earlier this afternoon.

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Even though the Cleveland Browns have won only four games this season -- and lost six straight -- first-year coach Rob Chudzinski has never appeared on my weekly look at coaching hot seats. That's primarily because teams rarely consider firing a coach that soon after hiring him. However, it appears that Chud's job may well be in jeopardy.

"There are some bad vibes indicating uncertainty about the future of #Browns HC Rob Chudzinski. Incredible," tweeted ESPNCleveland.com's Tony Grossi.

Time will tell whether those "bad vibes" amount to a firing in the end, but it would be a shocker. Despite the shoddy record this season, Chudzinski has kept his team focused and playing hard, even though they have had no quarterback or running back to speak of. He also can take some credit for the maturation of WR Josh Gordon and TE Jordan Cameron.

The Browns close out their 2013 campaign with a road tilt against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday.