The Cleveland Browns have added five assistants to their coaching staff. Jerod Kruse (assistant defensive backs), Clyde Simmons (defensive line), DeWayne Walker (defensive backs), Blake Williams (linebackers) and Bob Wylie (offensive line) have joined the 2017 coaching staff. Simmons replaces Robert Nunn, who has been relieved of his duties.
"Over the last two weeks I've spent a lot of time interviewing coaches and have had some difficult decisions to make," said Head Coach Hue Jackson. "As I've said before, that's part of my responsibility in my role as head coach of this football team as we are constantly striving for improvement and success. Coaching is always going to be about teaching and it was very important that we found the right coaches that will come in and be able to help our players reach their full potential. We always talk about creating the right environment for our players to succeed and I believe the group we've been able to assemble will help us accomplish just that."
Kruse brings 16 years of coaching experience. In 2016, Kruse served as the defensive coordinator for Lee's Summit West High School (Mo.) after 15 years of coaching on the college level. In 2015, Kruse worked as the associate head coach and special teams coordinator at Southeastern Louisiana University after serving as head coach at William Jewell College from 2010-15, where he was named Great Lakes Valley Conference Coach of the Year in 2014. Kruse also served as the defensive coordinator for his first three seasons (2010-12) as head coach after serving as defensive coordinator from 2008-09. Prior to William Jewell, he coached the secondary at Baker University in 2007 and at his alma mater of Emporia State from 2001-06. Kruse worked with Browns defensive coordinator Gregg Williams as a guest coach in the summers from 2008-11 with New Orleans and 2012-15 with Los Angeles/St. Louis.
Simmons spent the last five seasons (2012-16) with the Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams as assistant defensive line coach. Simmons helped coach three-time Pro Bowl DT Aaron Donald, who earned Defensive Rookie of the Year Honors in 2014, and All-Pro DE Robert Quinn who set a single-season franchise record with 19 sacks in 2013. The Rams finished third in the NFL with 217 total sacks during Simmons' tenure with the team, including leading the league with 52 in 2012. Prior to his time with the Rams, Simmons spent the 2010 season as a coaching intern with the New York Jets, primarily working with the defensive line. Before entering the coaching ranks, Simmons was a two-time Pro Bowler and two-time All-Pro over the course of a 15-year NFL career. A ninth-round pick of the Eagles out of Western Carolina in the 1986 NFL Draft, Simmons' 121.5 career sacks ranks in the top-20 in NFL history, including a career-best 19 in the 1992. His 236 games played are tied for fourth in NFL history among defensive linemen. He is a native of Wilmington, N.C.
Walker brings 11 years of NFL coaching experience and most recently served as defensive backs coach with Jacksonville the past four seasons (2013-16). In 2016, Walker was tasked with the development of first-round pick CB Jalen Ramsey and helped him become the first rookie in franchise history to record an interception in back-to-back games and the first to return an interception for a touchdown. Walker has also spent time as secondary coach with the New York Giants (2002-03), Washington (2004-05) and New England (1998-2000). On the college level, he served as the head coach at New Mexico State from 2009-12 following three years at UCLA as defensive coordinator. Walker also spent 2001 as the associate head coach/secondary coach at USC and spent time at California (1996-97), Oklahoma State (1995), Brigham Young (1994) and Utah State (1993). Walker began his coaching career in 1988 at Mt. San Antonio College, serving as the defensive backs coach for four seasons and defensive coordinator for one. As a corner and former starter at the University of Minnesota, Walker played for the CFL's Edmonton Eskimos in 1982 and spent two seasons (1983-84) playing in the USFL.
Williams brings seven years of NFL coaching experience and most recently worked at the NFL league office in 2016. In 2015, he served as the defensive coordinator at Southeastern Louisiana University after working as a defensive coaching consultant at William Jewell College for two seasons (2013-14). In 2012, Williams coached linebackers and served as defensive coordinator for the St. Louis Rams. From 2009-11, he was an offensive assistant working primarily with the offensive line for New Orleans, helping the team win Super Bowl XLIV. Prior to New Orleans, Williams served as linebackers coach and a strength and conditioning coach for Jacksonville in 2008 after getting his start as a coaching intern with Washington from 2006-07. A Princeton graduate, Williams played defensive back for the Tigers.
Wylie brings 35 years of experience coaching on the professional and collegiate levels. He has coached in the NFL for 16 seasons, CFL for six seasons and on the college level for 13 years. Wylie spent the past three seasons (2014-16) as the offensive line coach for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. During his stints in the CFL, he helped his teams play for the Grey Cup twice and coached his players to All-Star appearances at every position on the offensive line (tackle, guard and center). In the NFL ranks, he served as the Raiders offensive line coach on Hue Jackson's staff in 2011. He also spent time with the New York Jets (1990-91), Tampa Bay (1992-95), Cincinnati (1997-98), Chicago (1999-03), Arizona (2004) and Denver (2010). He coached Pro Football Hall of Fame tackle Anthony Muñoz and his line opened holes for the NFL's all-time leading rusher and Pro Football Hall of Fame running back Emmitt Smith. In 2001, his line helped the Bears produce an NFL-low 17 sacks, while blocking for running back Anthony Thomas, who earned NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year honors. Wylie is a native of West Warwick, R.I.