- Josh Weinfuss, ESPN Staff Writer
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Bowles will meet with the Cleveland Browns to discuss their head coaching vacancy, Schefter reported Thursday. Although the Minnesota Vikings have requested permission to interview Bowles, a meeting has not been scheduled.
The Browns need an offensive-minded coach more than a defensive one, after their offense finished the season ranked 18th overall, tied for 27th in the run and 11th in the pass. But Bowles saw first-hand this past season the importance of a head coach trusting his assistants. Cardinals coach Bruce Arians had been an offensive assistant throughout his entire career. He hired Bowles to run the offense and was mostly hands off, letting Bowles mold the Cardinals into the sixth-best defense and top-ranked unit against the run.
Bowles replaced Ray Horton as defensive coordinator in Arizona. Cleveland's defense was ranked ninth overall under Horton, 18th against the run (Arizona was 28th facing the run under Horton last season) and eighth against the pass. Bringing Bowles on board won't be a tough transition for the Browns because Horton also runs a 3-4, as the Cardinals found out last year.
It's likely that, like this past season, Bowles will make sure his defensive coordinator runs single-gap 3-4.
Then it'll be up to Bowles to find an offensive coordinator who's in line with his philosophy.