Browns losing OL coach Callahan


CLEVELAND (AP) — There are now two Callahans with the Titans.

Offensive line coach Bill Callahan is leaving the Cleveland Browns to join his son Brian’s staff with the Tennessee Titans, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press on Thursday night.

Callahan has informed the Browns that he’s taking the job, said the person who spoke on condition of anonymity because the teams are not commenting during the interview process.

The elder Callahan had been on coach Kevin Stefanski’s staff in Cleveland since 2020.

Brian Callahan was recently hired by the Titans, who fired Mike Vrabel on Jan. 9 following consecutive losing seasons.

The younger Callahan, 39, had been Cincinnati’s offensive coordinator since 2019.

At his introductory news conference, Brian Callahan was emotional when talking about his dad.

“I don’t know how many fathers and sons have been head coaches in the NFL, I don’t think it’s many,” he said. “I think that’s a very prideful thing for him to be associated with, him and I. You live this lifestyle and there’s a lot of ups and downs and there’s a lot of adversity that comes your way in coaching.

“The fact that I’ve been able to stand up here and he’s been able to do the same thing, for me, that’s a huge honor. Obviously, you want to be like your dad.”

Bill Callahan has a reputation as one of the NFL’s best offensive line coaches.

The 67-year-old was previously a head coach in Oakland and Washington.

He did some of his best work this season with the Browns, who were ravaged by injuries on their offensive line.

After the team lost starting right tackle Jack Conklin to a season-ending knee injury in the opener, Callahan helped rookie Dawand Jones develop quickly, and the fourth-round draft pick from Ohio State played well in 11 games before suffering a knee injury.

Left tackle Jedrick Wills Jr. also went down with a knee injury, and the Browns played down the stretch — and in the playoffs — with backups at both tackle spots.

Last week, Pro Bowl left guard Joel Bitonio praised Callahan, who has been with the Browns since 2020, while knowing it was probably inevitable he wouldn’t be back.

“Coach Callahan has been instrumental for us,” Bitonio said. “He’s helped develop a bunch of us on the line. We’re thankful for that. He’s one of the hardest workers I know. He puts in the time with us and he’s a big part of the run game and the scheme and protections.

“But when your son gets hired as the head coach and if your son calls, you might need to take that phone call as well. That’s pretty special stuff.”

Callahan’s departure is a major loss for the Browns and Stefanski, who shook up his staff following an 11-6 regular season and a 45-14 loss to the Houston Texans in the wild-card round.

Stefanski fired offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt, running backs coach Stump Mitchell and tight ends coach T.C. McCartney.

He’s hired Ken Dorsey, Duce Staley and Tommy Rees for those respective positions, but the Browns have not yet announced the additions.

Stefanski also hired former Houston assistant Jacques Cesaire as his defensive line coach.

Browns hiring former

NFL back Duce Staley

CLEVELAND (AP) — The Cleveland Browns filled one of the vacancies on their coaching staff — while bracing for a possible major departure.

Coach Kevin Stefanski has hired Duce Staley, a 10-year NFL veteran, as his new running backs coach, a person familiar with the addition told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

Staley was fired in Carolina last season.

Staley, who also interviewed with the New York Jets, will replace the recently fired Stump Mitchell, said the person who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the Browns are not commenting on any coaching moves until Stefanski fills out his staff.

The 48-year-old Staley will take over a running backs group with some question marks.

Former Pro Bowler Nick Chubb is expected to miss the start of next season after undergoing two knee surgeries to repair torn knee ligaments sustained in Week 2.

Jerome Ford and Pierre Strong Jr. will be back next season, but it’s not yet known if the team will re-sign Kareem Hunt, who was released by Cleveland but returned after Chubb got hurt and scored nine touchdowns.

Staley gained 5,785 yards while playing for Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.

As Stefanski reshapes his staff, there’s a possibility he could lose well-regarded offensive line coach Bill Callahan, who may join his son Brian’s staff in Tennessee.

The younger Callahan was officially hired on Wednesday by the Titans as Mike Vrabel’s replacement.

Bill Callahan did a sensational job this season in Cleveland after the team lost both starting tackles to injuries.

“Coach Callahan’s been instrumental for us,” left guard Joel Bitonio said. “He’s helped develop a bunch of us on the line. We’re thankful for that. He’s one of the hardest workers. I know he puts in the time with us and he’s a big part of the run game with the schemes and the protections.

“But if your son calls, you might need to take that phone call. That’s pretty special stuff. So we understand either way and we’re hopeful he’s still around for us to help us next year.”

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