Rumor mill reaches overdrive in Cleveland

The rumor mill is running on full power surrounding the search for the next Cleveland Browns coach.

It’s known that Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn was interviewed Thursday and Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator Todd Bowles was given an interview Friday. Josh McDaniels, offensive coordinator for the New England Patriots, is scheduled for an interview today.

Beyond that is a grab bag of speculation. The rumors got out of hand early Friday evening when Joe Dunn of Akron Fox Sports reported that former Ohio State coach Jim Tressel would be interviewed.

No sooner had word hit the social media networks when the story was proven incorrect by sources within the Browns’ organization.

One rumor that hasn’t been silenced involves the possible interest by management in Oklahoma Sooners coach Bob Stoops. Shortly after the Sooners defeated Alabama in the Sugar Bowl Thursday, Tony Softli, a sideline reporter for the St. Louis Rams and a NFL insider for St. Louis 101 ESPN, reported on the Stoops’ story.

Stoops, a Youngstown native, didn’t refute the report during a radio appearance on “The Dan Patrick Show” Friday or during a press session with reporters covering the Sooners.

“You never know what will come your way,” Stoops said. “Right now I love what I’m doing. Right now it’s not something I will pursue.”

Based on recent history it wouldn’t be surprising if the Browns pursued Stoops. When owner James Haslam and CEO Joe Banner began a search last year to replace Pat Shurmur as coach, they immediately focused on a college coach – Oregon’s Chip Kelly. Kelly interviewed for the job but ultimately accepted the same post with the Philadelphia Eagles.

In addition to Stoops, various reports have the Browns showing an interest in Auburn’s Gus Malzahn and Vanderbilt’s James Franklin. Malzahn will coach the Tigers in the FBS national championship game Monday night.