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Browns hire Jacques Cesaire to coach defensive line

Jan. 27—The Browns' coaching shuffle continued Jan. 27 when Jacques Cesaire was hired to coach the defensive line, according to a league source.

Cesaire, 43, coached the Texans' defensive line the past two seasons. He is replacing Ben Bloom, but that doesn't necessarily mean Bloom is out of a job.

Bloom was hired as a defensive assistant in 2020 when Kevin Stefanski was hired as head coach. Bloom was the defensive run game coordinator in 2021 and 2022. He was named defensive line coach in 2023 when Chris Kiffin left Cleveland to coach the Texans' linebackers. Bloom might resume his previous role.

Cesaire should have no problem connecting with Myles Garrett and the rest of the Browns' defensive linemen because he played end and tackle with the then-San Diego Chargers after making the team as an undrafted rookie in 2003. He played in 125 games with 66 starts and totaled 12.5 sacks. To put that sack number in perspective, Garrett totaled 14 sacks in 2023.

Cesaire began his career on the sideline as the Chargers' defensive line coach in 2015. He kept that job five years and then took on the job as the Bills' assistant defensive line coach in 2020. He was with the Bills for two seasons before being hired by the Texans.

The Browns finished with the top-ranked defense in 2023 by allowing an NFL-fewest 270.2 yards a game. They were first in third-down defense and 18th in sacks per pass play.

Browns general manager Andrew Berry placed an emphasis on rebuilding the defensive line in 2023. He signed defensive end Ogbo Okoronkwo and defensive tackle tackle Dalvin Tomlinson to multi-year contacts and then added end Za'Darius Smith plus tackles Shelby Harris and Maurice Hurst to one-year deals.

Garrett had just one sack in his final six regular season games and none in the wild-card playoff loss to the Texans, though he had three quarterback pressures in that game.

"I think at times we hold Myles to like a Superman standard which, look, he deserves," Berry said. "He looks like Superman and he's played so well now the first six or seven years of his career, but we're really pleased with him."

The Browns are still searching for an offensive coordinator to replace fired Alex Van Pelt. They hope to have that job filled in the week ahead.