Cleveland Browns coaching rumors: Mike Pettine among five candidates

Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Browns' head coaching search will accelerate this week, with Super Bowl coordinators available to interview for the job again. Bills defensive coordinator Mike Pettine remains squarely in the mix for the gig.

On Sunday, reports surfaced that Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator Mike Pettine will interview for the Cleveland Browns' vacant head coaching job for a second time. Pettine is among (at least) five coaches that the Browns have shown interest in that are still available, but that list could shorten quickly this week.

Adam Gase, offensive coordinator for the Denver Broncos, advanced to Super Bowl XLVIII with his team yesterday. He is available to interview for head coaching opportunities this week thanks to the Super Bowl bye, but reports indicate that Gase is leaning towards staying in Denver, rather than pursuing the league's only head coaching opening at present. He'd join New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels in making that decision this off-season; the Browns had shown interest in McDaniels, as well.

Another Super Bowl coordinator is on Cleveland's radar, but this time, reports indicate that there is mutual interest between the two sides: Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn can also interview for the job this week, and unless he pulls a Gase, it seems likely that he will. If he ends up being Cleveland's top candidate, they won't be able to officially hire him until after the Super Bowl on February 2 - but as they're the only job opening right now, they have no need to rush.

Then again, if the Browns get antsy, they have a couple of fallback options. Pettine, the only other candidate besides Quinn to get a second interview to this point, and Dallas Cowboys special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia have also interviewed for the Browns' coaching job. Unless more candidates emerge this week, and if Gase decides not to pursue the opportunity, it's looking like Cleveland's decision will come down to waiting on Quinn, or taking an earlier plunge on either Pettine, Bisaccia, or a mystery candidate that we're not aware of yet.

Bills fans may have to wait a while longer - quite a while, in fact - before we know whether or not Doug Marrone will need to find a new defensive coordinator for the 2014 season. If he's smart, he's already preparing for the possibility.

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