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NFL Coaching Rumors: Have Cleveland Browns Found Their Man?

The Cleveland Browns could finally be on the verge of signing a new coach after a second interview with Bills DC Mike Pettine.

Mike Pettine
Mike Pettine

Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator Mike Pettine works with the defense during training camp at St. John Fisher College. Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

After a third candidate withdrew his name from consideration, it seems as finally the Cleveland Browns are close to naming their new head coach.

According to the latest NFL coaching rumors in The Buffalo News, Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator Mike Pettine is “going to get” the Browns job, and the deal is close to being finalized. The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported that Pettine met with Browns officials for a second round of interviews Tuesday evening at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Al., but Pettine left without an agreement.

Both details were echoed by ESPN.

“Pettine was the first candidate to interview with the team twice,” Ed Werder said on “Sportscenter” Wednesday morning. “(Browns owner) Jimmy Haslam went home without striking a deal, but (Pettine) clearly emerged as the leader for the position. This could be a leverage play for the Browns. … But I believe Pettine has the inside track for the job.”

The team also has interest in Atlanta Falcons offense coordinator Dirk Koetter, San Francisco 49ers defensive line coach Jim Tomlusa, Dallas Cowboys special teams coordinator Rich Basaccia, and former Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Munchak. Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn was considered to be the favorite as of Tuesday when Adam Gase removed his name from consideration, but it seems as if the team does not want to wait until after the Super Bowl to undergo a second round of interviews with him.

Gase, the Denver Broncos’ offensive coordinator, was the third assistant coach to remove their name from consideration for the Browns’ head-coaching vacancy and is not expected to pursue a head-coaching job until 2015. New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels was the first to do it, followed shortly after by Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator Todd Bowles. One report indicated the job was being viewed as “radioactive” after the team cleaned house out after Rod Chudzinski’s first season at the helm.

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