Ravens' Nolan interviews with Browns

OWINGS MILLS -- Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Mike Nolan interviewed for the Cleveland Browns' head coaching job Tuesday in New York.<br><br> Nolan met with Browns owner Randy Lerner, team president John Collins and new general manager Phil Savage, the former Ravens' director of player personnel.

With his connection to Savage through the Ravens, Nolan is likely to be a strong contender. However, New England Patriots defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel reportedly had an outstanding interview and has been dubbed the frontrunner by several media outlets.

Nolan, 45, became the Ravens defensive coordinator in 2002, succeeding Super Bowl defensive boss Marvin Lewis and implementing a shift to the 3-4 alignment.

The Ravens led the NFL with seven defensive touchdowns last season as Nolan continued to employ an aggressive blitz package.

Pro Bowl safety Ed Reed led the NFL with nine interceptions and was named the NFL Defensive Player of the Year. Besides Reed, linebacker Ray Lewis, linebacker Terrell Suggs and cornerback Chris McAlister all made the Pro Bowl.

Nolan has previously been a defensive coordinator for the New York Jets, Washington Redskins and New York Giants. His father, Dick Nolan, was an NFL head coach with the New Orleans Saints and San Francisco 49ers.

Both Nolan and former Ravens senior consultant and New York Giants head coach Jim Fassel are likely to be considered for the San Francisco 49ers' head coaching vacancy.

The Browns also interviewed Miami Dolphins former interim coach and defensive coordinator Jim Bates on Tuesday. Bates, 58, also has ties to Savage from his days working in Cleveland. Bates went 3-4 as the Dolphins' interim coach.

Cleveland team officials have already met with Browns interim coach Terry Robiskie, Pittsburgh Steelers offensive line coach Russ Grimm, New England Patriots defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel and Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator Brad Childress.

If Nolan leaves, the Ravens are almost certain to promote highly regarded defensive line coach Rex Ryan to coordinator.

NOTES: Reed's 106-yard interception return against the Browns, which set an NFL record for longest interception return, was nominated for NFL Play of the Week. ... Offensive tackle Orlando Brown said he'll have his knee examined later this week with Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala., and is likely to undergo arthroscopic surgery.

As well as a being a long time contributor to RavensInsider, Aaron Wilson writes for the Carroll County Times in Westminster Maryland.

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