Where the Search Stands

The Browns are the last team to hire a coach this offseason, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing considering the remaining head coaching candidates.

Many see the Cleveland Browns' prolonged search for a head coach as a sign of coaches not wanting to come to Cleveland, ill-preparation on the part of the Browns and an organization screwing up by waiting so long.

There are disappointing aspects coming from this prolonged coaching search. It removes many assistant coach candidates from the equation. It removes the head coach and other staff from the Senior Bowl week of evaluation. This will fall squarely on the shoulders of the player personnel department and whatever future Browns coaches will take in during the week.

Presently, the Browns representation at the Senior Bowl is led by assistant general manager Ray Farmer, who could be named the new general manager of the Miami Dolphins in the coming days. General manager Mike Lombardi is scheduled to be at the Senior Bowl this week.

I believe how the search has played out to this point could be beneficial for the Browns. The available candidates Adam Gase, Dan Quinn, Mike Pettine and Mike Munchak have qualities that make them enticing or potential head coaches in the game, but to differing degrees at this present time.

The Browns continue to maintain their stance of waiting to interview Denver offensive coordinator Adam Gase, as the Broncos are now Super Bowl bound. Despite reports that Gase wouldn't interview or is leaning against meeting with the Browns, I have been told Gase has not informed the Browns this as of Monday through his agent -- but I will add there is plenty of noise that the Broncos are poised to do whatever they can to retain him.

Seattle defensive coordinator Dan Quinn had a very good interview with the Browns and as time passed the Browns have come to realize how impressive and complete he was when meeting with them. Whereas Gase has been non-committal, Quinn wants the job and expressed his fire and enthusiasm when interviewing with the Browns. The Browns, from what I have been told, are setting up a second interview with the candidate, as the Browns love his passion.

Mike Pettine came out of left field and placed himself squarely in the middle of the Browns head-coaching search. Pettine a veteran defensive position coach and coordinator has coached and led some of the best rated defenses -- a position coach in Baltimore, position coach and defensive coordinator in New York and Buffalo. When asked, a member of the Browns organization told me Pettine's interview was fantastic and very impressive.

The interview that is most overlooked was with former Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Munchak. Munchak was genuine in his interview and is 'all-in' if offered the job. Munchak asked about the issues within the Browns and discussed his time as the head coach in Tennessee and what he could/would do differently in a second go-around. Munchak isn't the lead candidate, but the Browns told Munchak he is in the mix.

A couple other names that could surface are those of San Francisco defensive coordinator Vic Fangio and defensive line coach Jim Tomsula. The Browns have conducted background work on each coach, but have not requested to interview either as of Monday.

I have been told the Browns could talk to one or two additional coaches in the coming days and have spoken to a coach that hasn't been reported upon by the media.


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