Marc Trestman’s coaching journey, which drifted into Canada, could bring him back to the Browns.
A person familiar with the interview says the Browns are meeting with Trestman, the current coach of the CFL’s Montreal Alouettes and a former assistant with Cleveland.
Trestman interviewed with the Chicago Bears on Monday night and arrived at the Browns’ facility in suburban Berea on Tuesday, said the person who spoke to the Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the search.
Trestman is the fifth known candidate to interview with the Browns, who fired Pat Shurmur last week after two seasons.
Trestman coached the Browns quarterbacks coach in 1988 and was Cleveland’s offensive coordinator in 1989, when the Browns appeared in their third AFC title game in four years. He has extensive background as an NFL assistant, working with eight teams. Trestman has spent the past five seasons with Montreal, leading the Alouettes to two Grey Cup titles.
The 56-year-old is under contract through 2016, but the club will allow him to leave for an NFL job if he’s offered.
In recent years, Trestman has worked as a consultant in the NFL and in the offseason helped develop young quarterbacks, including Cleveland’s Brandon Weeden.
The Browns are not commenting on any of their interviews or candidates.
Browns owner Jimmy Haslam and CEO Joe Banner have interviewed several coaching candidates and are expected to meet with more this week.
The Browns are expected to interview Indianapolis offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, who was released from a Baltimore hospital on Monday after he became ill before the Colts’ 24-9 playoff loss to the Ravens.
Haslam and Banner conducted several interviews last week in Arizona. They spent the most significant amount of time with Chip Kelly, who after entertaining overtures from at least three teams, decided to return to Oregon. The Browns also interviewed former Arizona coach Ken Whisenhunt, Cardinals defensive coordinator Ray Horton, former Syracuse coach Doug Marrone, who was hired by Buffalo and Penn State’s Bill O’Brien.
If the team was even thinking about contacting Nick Saban about their vacancy, Alabama’s coach made it clear the NFL is in his past — not his future.
With their search in its second week, the Browns may have considered calling Saban, who coached the Miami Dolphins for two years before taking over the Crimson Tide’s program. Fresh off winning his third national title in four years, the 61-year-old Saban reiterated that he’s content at Alabama and outlined several reasons why he prefers to coach in college.
He said coaching in the NFL taught him that college “is where I belong, and I’m really happy and at peace with all that.”
Saban worked as an assistant in Cleveland under Bill Belichick, and there has long been speculation he might one day return to the Browns.