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The end is near
January 22, 2014 - Mike McLain
Now that Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Adam Gase has pulled his name from consideration for the Browns coaching job, it appears the team might be closing in on Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator Mike Pettine.
Several reports stated that owner James Haslam, CEO Joe Banner and general manager Michael Lombardi had a second interview with Pettine Tuesday night at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala. Reports state that the Browns were prepared to offer Pettine the job, but the management group left town without a deal.
The Browns also have an interest in Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, who is obviously tied up with the Seahawks' trip to the Super Bowl.
It's interesting that the Browns are giving such serious consideration to defensive coordinators. It was assumed that an offensive-minded coach would top the wish list because of the expected selection of a quarterback in the NFL draft. Attempts to lure New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and Gase proved unsuccessful when both men removed their names from consideration.
It seems clear now that there will be no "wow' candidate interviewed -- ala a Jim Tressel. If Pettine is the choice, it will have zero positive impact on an angry fan base.
The Bills are coming off a 6-10 season. The defense was ranked 10th overall in the NFL (28th against the run and fourth against the pass). The Browns defense, which was coordinated by Ray Horton, finished ninth overall.
If the Browns are now looking for a defensive coordinator, why didn't they make a stronger effort to keep Horton on board? Hiring Pettine would again shine a spotlight on the absurdity of the entire search, dating back to the firing of Rob Chudzinski after only one season on the job.
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