April 20, 2014

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Former Buccaneers coach Raheem Morris in mix to lead Browns defense

The Browns have a new candidate for defensive coordinator.

Morris

Former Buccaneers coach Raheem Morris will interview Friday, according to multiple reports Wednesday night. Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times was the first to report it.

Browns coach Rob Chudzinski was hired last Thursday and is trying to fill out his staff.

Dick Jauron ran Cleveland’s defense the last two years, but isn’t expected to return. He’s well-liked by players and well-respected across the league.

Morris, 36, spent 2012 as the Redskins’ defensive backs coach.

He was the NFL’s youngest coach when he was hired by Tampa Bay in 2009. He went 17-31 in three seasons before getting fired, including 10-6 in 2010.

Morris previously spent six years as a Tampa Bay assistant and one as defensive coordinator of Kansas State in 2006. That’s his lone experience as a coordinator.

Washington could normally prevent the interview with Cleveland, but Stroud reported Morris’ contract includes a clause that allows him to interview for a coordinator job.

Tampa Bay finished with the No. 1-ranked pass defense three times in Morris’ tenure, and twice had the No. 1 overall defense.

The Redskins ranked 30th against the pass in 2012, allowing 281.9 yards a game. They won their final seven games to reach the playoffs, before losing in the first round.

Chudzinski reportedly had targeted Chargers defensive coordinator John Pagano for the same role. But new Chargers coach Mike McCoy reportedly wants to keep him.

Chudzinski said he’d allow the coordinator to pick the base scheme, but favors flexibility and a hybrid of the 3-4 and 4-3 systems.

Morris used a 4-3 in Tampa Bay, but the Redskins ran a 3-4 this season.

Browns hire 2 for front office

The Browns announced Wednesday they filled two positions in the front office. The moves had been previously reported.

Sashi Brown was named executive vice president, general counsel and Brent Stehlik executive vice president, chief revenue officer. Brown spent the last eight seasons as general counsel of the Jaguars. Stehlik worked the last three years with baseball’s San Diego Padres, including the past two as senior vice president of business operations.

“Sashi has been an excellent attorney for the Jaguars for the past eight seasons and, importantly, has significant experience with business and football matters,” Browns president Alec Scheiner said in a statement.

CEO Joe Banner said Tuesday that Brown would help him with the salary cap and lower-profile negotiations.

Stehlik is a native of Lakewood and graduate of Mount Union. He worked from 2007-09 with the Cowboys as director of business development, and has also worked in the NHL.

“Brent possesses an extensive background overseeing many elements of a sports franchise, including tickets, suites, sponsorships, concessions and stadium operations,” Scheiner said. “His knowledge and success in all of these areas at each of his previous stops should be a huge benefit to our fans as we are committed to enhancing their in-stadium experience.”

Contact Scott Petrak at 329-7253 or spetrak@chroniclet.com. Like him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter.