The Waters Get Murkier

Steve Spagnuolo. The very name says "hard to spell". But does it also say "Browns head coach"? Spagnuolo interviewed today and some surprising early returns are in from our sources. Lane and John bring tons of the latest inside info from the birth of the new Browns era...

--While we're not at liberty to give away the name of the persons who took part in the interview, we can say, without reservation, that one person in particular was "blown away" by Steve Spagnuolo, a Browns source told The OBR. One source described the New York Giants defensive coordinator as possessing a "dynamic and intense personality". The source added that he came across as "very knowledgeable" in the interview, in that he's "ahead of the curve" as far as trends in the game are concerned.

Spagnuolo is perhaps the hottest of the "hot" coordinators, and also had an interview with the Lions today as well as talks scheduled with the Jets and and Broncos on Saturday. While Spagnuolo apparently interviewed very well, the source said, it by no means suggests that he's automatically vaulted to the top of any list anyone in the organization -- or who could potentially be a part of said organization -- may possess.

--Should Scott Pioli ultimately turn down an opportunity with the franchise, and Rich McKay remain out of the picture for the time being, the name "Floyd Reese" will appear very prominently on owner Randy Lerner's radar screen, multiple sources have told The OBR. Reese himself has acknowledged to friends of his in the league that he's heard from Lerner intermediaries about an interest if the organization fails to find the mark with their top two front office targets. The former Tennessee Titans GM and current ESPN "personality" is widely respected around the league for his talent evaluation skills and ability to get the best out of the people who work underneath him.

--A Browns source tells The OBR that Josh McDaniels will interview with the club for their vacant head-coaching spot tomorrow. The Browns requested and were granted permission to speak to the New England Patriots offensive coordinator and Canton, OH, native yesterday. Additionally, Tennessee Titans defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz will interview for the same job on Saturday.

--The OBR has confirmed a Pro Football Talk report from last night that Mel Tucker is slated to interview for the vacant head-coaching position with the New York Jets. Additionally, we've been told that there is one more team who could be in interested in the Browns defensive coordinator, although they have yet to request permission to speak to him. While we haven't been told specifically who that other team may be, we have been led to believe it is, in all likelihood, the Detroit Lions.

--The latest rumor making the rounds is that Romeo Crennel could be in a play for a defensive coordinator's job -- in another city. Apparently, Crennel could garner some interest from the Buccaneers should current coordinator Raheem Morris move on to a head-coaching position. According to Jay Glazer of FOX, Morris will interview with the Denver Broncos for their vacant head-coaching spot at some point in the near future. The word out of Tampa Bay is that the organization may make a push for Crennel if Morris leaves as they could possibly make a break from the famed Tampa 2 defense the franchise has utilized for more than ten years.

--It's really apropos of nothing, but one Denver-area media source tells The OBR that the general consensus around there is that the Browns are the early favorites to land former Denver Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan. We have heard, and reported this afternoon, that the Browns -- and two other teams -- had spoken to Shanahan and/or his agent today, but have not heard anything from the Browns' end that would suggest it's anything more than doing their due diligence. Right now, at least.

--Here's what one league source had to say about the list of head-coaching candidates lined up for interviews in Cleveland: "Do you think it's a coincidence that most of them have ties to Pioli? I'd say the last thing it is is a coincidence."

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