Browns News: Deshaun's Legal Saga Continues, New Coaching Rumor, Official Coaching Hires & Joel Bitonio's Thoughts

Rounding up the latest Cleveland Browns news and rumors from around the NFL

Jan 13, 2024; Houston, Texas, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson looks on from the
Jan 13, 2024; Houston, Texas, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson looks on from the / Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
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Joel Bitonio Bids Farewell to Calalhan

Amidst all this coaching buzz, it can be easy to forget the personal connections that are at the core of the coach-player relationships.

Joel Bitonio joined Cleveland19 to speak on Callahan's departure.

"We appreciate everything Coach Callahan Did for us. I think he helped instill a culture in the o-line of being a technician and understanding your assignments. All those things that great o-line coaches do, and he's one of the best in the league."

Joel Bitonio

And who better to speak to that than Bitonio?

Bitonio had been a second-team All-Pro in 2018 and 2019 (his fifth and sixth NFL seasons) before Callahan was hired in 2020. Bitonio earned the same honors that season, then finally made the leap to first-team All-Pro in 2021 and 2022. Those were also Bitonio's two best-ever seasons according to Pro Football Focus' grades.

And it wasn't just Bitonio that Callahan developed. Cleveland finished 2019 ranked No. 17 in pass blocking and No. 29 in run blocking (again, per PFF). The very next year, they took the top spot in both categories and remained top-12 in both from 2020 through 2022.

Still, excited for his former coach, Bitonio admitted the departure was bittersweet.

"It is bittersweet, because you want him to stick it out with us, but he gets to go and coach with his son which is, I'm pretty sure, a dream come true for everybody."

Joel Bitonio

With all the change this offseason, the betting markets are not high on the Browns. Cleveland is sitting at +2500 to win the AFC, which has them tied for No. 10 in the conference. They trail four different teams (and are tied with a fifth) who did not make the postseason in 2023.

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