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Alabama Offensive Coordinator Rees to be Hired as New Tight Ends Coach by the Browns, AP Source Confirms

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CLEVELAND (AP) — The Browns are plucking an assistant off Nick Saban’s coaching tree.

Cleveland coach Kevin Stefanski is close to hiring Alabama offensive coordinator Tommy Rees to coach the team’s tight ends, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press on Monday.

Rees will replace T.C. McCartney, who was not retained last week in a postseason shakeup by Stefanski. Rees could have other duties as well, said the person who spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal has not been finalized.

The Athletic was first to report the Browns’ interest in Rees.

The 31-year-old Rees, who played quarterback at Notre Dame, ran Alabama’s offense last season and coached the Crimson Tide’s quarterbacks. Rees is leaving in the aftermath of Saban’s stunning retirement.

Rees also coached at Notre Dame and is considered one of the rising young coaching stars in the game. He also worked as an assistant with the San Diego Chargers.

Rees’ father, Bill, worked in Cleveland’s front office as director of player personnel from 2004-08.

Stefanski began overhauling his offensive staff last week just days after the Browns were routed 45-14 by the Houston Texans in the AFC wild-card playoff round. He fired coordinator Alex Van Pelt along with running backs coach Stump Mitchell. McCartney was not brought back after spending four seasons with Cleveland.

The Browns have interviewed two potential replacements for Van Pelt: former Cleveland quarterback Ken Dorsey, who was fired in Buffalo this season, and Seattle Seahawks offensive line coach Andy Dickerson.

The team is also scheduled to meet this week with Houston quarterbacks coach Jerrod Johnson, who helped develop Texans rookie QB C.J. Stroud this season.

Stefanski has called plays during his first four seasons with the Browns, but general manager Andrew Berry indicated there’s a chance he could relinquish those duties.

“That’s something that we always talk about every offseason in kind of the self-assessment,” Berry said Monday in his season wrap-up news conference. “Part of that depends on where we land with the staff and what Kevin’s preferences are.

“Ultimately that’s going to be his decision as he constructs a staff. We’ve mentioned multiple times, I think that’s one of Kevin’s strengths, but how that operates from year to year, that’s ultimately something that we reassess.”

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AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl

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