New Cleveland Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski’s coaching staff is taking shape with the addition of Bill Callahan on Monday.
The #Browns are expected to hire Bill Callahan to coach their offensive line, sources say. Important addition of a former head coach for Kevin Stefanski’s staff.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) January 20, 2020
He will reportedly be the Browns new offensive line coach; a position Callahan knows well.
Callahan, the former Redskins interim and Raiders head coach, brings much-needed experience to the Browns staff.
If anything, Stefanski can use Callahan as a sounding board during the 2020 season.
Early Coaching History
After playing quarterback at Illinois Benedictine College, Callahan was a college coach for 15 years. Callahan spent his college coaching career teaching the offensive side of the ball, specifically offensive line.
In 1995, he joined the staff of the Philadelphia Eagles where he, again, coached the offensive line. Prior to the 1998 season, Callahan was named the offensive coordinator of the Oakland Raiders.
Raiders Success and Firing
Four years later, Callahan was named the Raiders head coach after Jon Gruden left the team to coach the Buccaneers. Inherited with an already talented team, the Raiders made it to Super Bowl XXXVII where he faced Gruden.
Unfortunately, the Raiders would get blown out by the Bucs 48-21. There have been reports that Callahan “sabotaged” the team during that Super Bowl.
However, former Raiders players dispute the claim.
Callahan’s tenure with Oakland did not last long. The 2003 season saw key injuries and locker room strife that led to a 4-12 finish.
Callahan was fired by the late Al Davis after the season.
University of Nebraska
Shortly after being fired by the Raiders, Callahan was hired as the head coach at the University of Nebraska.
Callahan’s hiring was roundly criticized by many Nebraska fans and alumni.
In over 40 years, the Cornhuskers were led by a coach with ties to the school. Callahan broke that streak when then Athletic Director Steve Pederson decided to break tradition.
The ‘Huskers did see some success with Callahan at the helm. The team finished the 2005 season 8-4 and defeated Michigan 32-28 in the Alamo Bowl.
In 2006, Nebraska won the Big 12 North for the first time since 1999, finishing the season at 9-5.
The 2007 season was expected to be a huge year for the ‘Huskers. However, the team struggled mightily, suffering from a number of lopsided defeats.
Halfway through the season Pederson, the AD who hired Callahan, was fired. In his place stepped Nebraska legend Tom Osborne.
After a few more humiliating losses, Osborne fired Callahan.
Back to the NFL
Not long after leaving Nebraska, Callahan returned to the NFL where he went back to coaching offensive linemen. The New York Jets hired Callahan as their assistant head coach and offensive line coach in 2008.
During his time with the Jets, Callahan saw Nick Mangold, Alan Faneca, and D’Brickashaw Ferguson named to the Pro Bowl. Callahan also directed the Jets running game, which led to a franchise record 2,756 yards in 2009.
Callahan left the Jets to be the offensive line coach with the Dallas Cowboys in 2012. The Cowboys line also experienced great success under Callahan.
Tyron Smith, Zack Martin, and Travis Frederick all made the Pro Bowl. During the 2014 off season, the Browns asked Dallas for permission to interview Callahan for offensive coordinator. However, Dallas declined their request.
Staying in the NFC East, Callahan moved on to the Redskins in 2015 as their offensive line coach. Washington promoted Callahan to assistant head coach in 2017 in addition to his offensive line duties.
During the 2019 season, Washington fired head coach Jay Gruden following an 0-5 start. Callahan was then named interim head coach for the remainder of the season.
The team completed 2019 with a 3-8 record.
The Redskins then quickly hired former Panthers coach Ron Rivera.
Washington’s loss may be Cleveland’s gain, especially if Callahan works his magic on the Browns offensive line.
If he can replicate some his success at his former stops, Cleveland’s offense could see a major boost in 2020.
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