CLEVELAND (AP) Jerome Henderson improved Cleveland's secondary as an assistant with the Browns. He may get a chance to fix the whole team.
The Browns interviewed Henderson on Friday for their head coaching position, a job that came open Sunday when Mike Pettine was fired after going 10-22 in two seasons.
The 46-year-old Henderson is no stranger to the Browns. He served as their defensive backs coach from 2009-11 - two years under Eric Mangini and one with Pat Shurmur - and was credited with helping cornerback Joe Haden develop into a Pro Bowler as well developing safety T.J. Ward, who is now with Denver.
Henderson is the fourth candidate to meet with the Browns, who embarked on the search for their eighth coach since 1999 earlier this week. Browns owner Jimmy and Dee Haslam and their search committee flew to Texas on Friday to meet with Henderson, who joined the Cowboys in 2012.
While the Dallas defense was solid statistically against the pass, the Cowboys struggled to create takeaways and make impactful plays. Neither of the starting cornerbacks, Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne, recorded an interception. Henderson was unable to get more out of Claiborne, who never delivered on the promise of the sixth overall pick in 2012. The Cowboys didn't pick up the fifth year on his rookie contract and are likely to part ways with Carr as well.
In Cleveland, Henderson, who played eight seasons in the NFL for New England, Buffalo, Philadelphia and the New York Jets, was well-liked by his players. His ability to work with Haden, who missed the final eight games this season with a concussion, is a big plus for him.
The Browns have now concluded half of their known interviews. They began their search by meeting with Chicago offensive coordinator Adam Gase, who has also met with Philadelphia, Detroit defensive coordinator Teryl Austin and Jacksonville offensive assistant Doug Marrone. The only one with head coaching experience so far is Marrone, who was with Buffalo for two seasons before opting out of his contract last year.
On Sunday, the Browns are expected to meet with Cincinnati coordinators Hue Jackson and Paul Guenther, who have a wild-card game Saturday night against Pittsburgh. Carolina defensive coordinator Sean McDermott and New England defensive coordinator Matt Patricia are also on Cleveland's list.