NFL rumors: Browns targeting 49ers assistants for coordinator jobs

Marcus White
NBC Sports BayArea

The 49ers have at least one game left this postseason, and the end of their playoff run reportedly could mean the end of some assistants' time in Santa Clara.

That is, if the Cleveland Browns get their way. 

The Browns are interested in hiring "either" 49ers passing game coordinator Mike LaFleur or run game coordinator Mike McDaniel as their offensive coordinator, and 49ers passing game coordinator and defensive backs coach Joe Woods "is considered a top candidate for Cleveland's defensive coordinator job," NFL Media's Ian Rapaport reported Sunday morning. ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that Woods is "on track" to become the Browns' DC if the two sides reach a contract agreement. 

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Cleveland hired former Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski as head coach last week, and Rapoport wrote that Stefanski's "prowess on offense" might preclude the Browns from hiring their own offensive coordinator. Additionally, Rapaport noted that they might not even request interviews with LaFleur and McDaniel because both are still under contract with the 49ers and "unlikely to be allowed out to go to Cleveland."

Last year, the 49ers didn't allow LaFleur to interview for the Green Bay Packers' offensive coordinator position. Though he would've worked with his brother, Matt, Mike LaFleur would have been a non-play-calling coordinator. Since neither he nor McDaniel currently have play-calling duties under 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan, it seems unlikely either coach would be in line for a promotion if Stefanski assumes play-calling duties. 

[RELATED: How Shanahan handled 49ers' 0-9 start in '17 led them here]

NFL Media's Jim Trotter reported last week that Woods was a finalist for the Browns' vacancy at defensive coordinator. Before coming to the 49ers this season, the 49-year-old Woods served as the Denver Broncos' defensive coordinator from 2017 through '18. In his first season coaching the 49ers' defensive backs, San Francisco ranked 10th in passes defensed (74) after finishing 32nd (39) last year.

The Browns also interviewed current 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh for their head-coaching position before ultimately hiring Stefanski

Programming note: NBC Sports Bay Area feeds your hunger for 49ers playoff coverage at 2:30 p.m. Sunday for "49ers Pregame Live," with Laura Britt, Jeff Garcia, Donte Whitner, Ian Williams and Grant Liffmann previewing the NFC Championship Game against the Packers. That same crew will have all the postgame reaction on "49ers Postgame Live," starting at approximately 6:30 p.m.

NFL rumors: Browns targeting 49ers assistants for coordinator jobs originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

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