Browns reportedly hire Monken, Wilks as coordinators
The Cleveland Browns will fill their coordinator openings with former Tampa Bay Buccaneers coordinator Todd Monken on offense and former Arizona Cardinals head coach Steve Wilks on defense, according to multiple reports Sunday. New head coach Freddie Kitchens is expected to call plays and run his own offense for the Browns, but Monken will provide extra experience, as Kitchens had not been an NFL coordinator prior to 2018's midseason promotion.
Monken, who turns 53 in February, was a candidate for head-coaching openings with the Green Bay Packers, Cincinnati Bengals and New York Jets and also drew interest as a coordinator from several other teams, including Jacksonville and Detroit. He took over playcalling from Dirk Koetter in Tampa Bay this season, his third as offensive coordinator, and helped the Bucs' offense finish third in yards and 12th in points.
The Bucs did not bring Monken back after hiring new head coach Bruce Arians, whose offensive coordinator will be Byron Leftwich. Wilks, 49, was fired less than a calendar year after taking over the Cardinals, who finished with the NFL's worst record this season at 3-13, a job he had gotten after shining as a coordinator with the Carolina Panthers. Arizona's defense ranked 20th in yards and 26th in scoring, but Wilks helped Carolina finish seventh and 11th, respectively, in 2017, his only previous experience as an NFL coordinator.
Wilks was a defensive backs coach for four teams from 2005 through 2016 before taking over as coordinator in Carolina. He is replacing Gregg Williams, who served as interim head coach for the second half of 2018 but was let go when Kitchens was promoted to head coach last week. Per Cleveland.com, both coordinator hirings are expected to be announced Monday. Kitchens will also be officially introduced as head coach on Monday.
(With inputs from agencies.)