The Cleveland Browns have been granted their request to interview Ravens offensive coordinator Greg Roman, who has done a terrific job this season with MVP favorite Lamar Jackson, about their head coaching vacancy, Baltimore coach John Harbaugh confirmed Monday.
Cleveland fired Freddie Kitchens after just one season when the Browns finished a disappointing 6-10.
"Cleveland has put in the request. We’ve honored it, which we will do with all of our guys for head coaching opportunities," Harbaugh said. "That will be this week, I’m sure, because we have the bye week. So, that’s the only one I’m aware of to this point."
Harbaugh declined to speculate if the team would replace Roman in-house or go outside to find another offensive coordinator if he lands in Cleveland.
"I think we'll cross that bridge when we get to it," Harbaugh said.
New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, Vikings offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski, Saints defensive coordinator Dennis Allen, former Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer and former Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy have also been linked to the Browns' job.
Roman is credited with helping the Ravens implement one of the most fearsome attacks in the NFL.
The Ravens (14-2) set a franchise record for wins and broke the NFL’s all-time single-season rushing record (3,296 yards). Baltimore also became the first team in NFL history to average at least 200 rushing and 200 net passing yards per game in a season, finishing with 206.0 rushing yards and 201.6 net passing yards per game.
Jackson is ranked first in the NFL with a franchise-record 36 touchdown passes and third with a 113.3 quarterback rating. Jackson is sixth among all players with 1,206 yards rushing.
Roman said last week that he was focused on the Ravens' upcoming playoff run rather than head-coaching opportunities.
"You just really don’t even pay attention to it. I have so much to do, and I love my job." Roman said. "The most important thing is you do a great job at the job you’re doing. All that stuff will come to pass as it does. It’s in other people’s control, in other people’s hands. So, you really just focus on your job, and I love my job. I have every minute of every day filled up. So, that’s a good thing, too. I just keep it simple.”
Baltimore defensive coordinator Wink Martindale is also rumored to be a potential candidate for a head coaching position. Martindale is one of the best defensive minds in the NFL.
The Ravens are ranked fourth in overall defense, allowing 300.6 yards per game. Martindale also helped revamp the Ravens' secondary that was ranked in the bottom third of the league in the early part of the season to among the best in the NFL entering the playoffs.
"We love our organization here. It would have to be a dream-type job to take, where you know you can build the winning culture that we have here," Martindale said. "And that’s huge in making a decision like that, going from a coordinator to a head coach. I think that people get put in boxes."
Harbaugh don't think it's distraction if assistant coaches interview for head coaching positions. Teams are also rumored to be interested in David Culley, the Ravens wide receivers coach/assistant head coach and passing game coordinator.
"It's business as usual," Harbaugh said. "I don't think nowadays that guys spend too much time putting together notebooks and preparing for interviews and all that. That's who you are. You walk in there and you try to get to know each other and that doesn't take too long. They'll be able to focus 100 percent on preparation and also take a sliver of time to [interview]."