Browns coaching rumors: Adam Gase out; Mike Pettine rising?

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

As the Cleveland Browns' pool of coaching candidates continues to thin out, Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator Mike Pettine becomes an ever more viable option for the job.

As expected, Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Adam Gase has removed himself from consideration for the vacant Cleveland Browns head coaching job, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com.

Reports surfaced over conference championship weekend that Gase would not leave his job in Denver, where he's about to finish his first season as the play-caller for Peyton Manning, for anything other than a perfect opportunity. ESPN's Adam Schefter added onto Rapoport's report, indicating that the Browns will not wait until after Super Bowl XLVIII on February 2 to try to schedule another interview with Gase.

Things may be a bit different for another Super Bowl coordinator: Dan Quinn, defensive coordinator of the Seattle Seahawks, reportedly has interest in the Browns job, per a Rapoport report from over the weekend, but it's unclear if the Browns will be able to secure an interview with Quinn this week as he, like Gase, prepares for the big game. The Browns are, however, lining up a second interview with a candidate of interest to Buffalo Bills fans.

We've known for a few days now that Bills defensive coordinator Mike Pettine would be interviewing for the job for a second time - and that another candidate, Dallas Cowboys special teams coach Rich Bisaccia, also interviewed over the weekend. New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels has also been linked to the job, but unless he does a 180, he's indicated that he plans on staying in New England heading into the 2014 season.

Nearly all of the movement from Tuesday morning was expected, and for Bills fans, all eyes will be on Quinn. If he backs out of the race citing the same rationale as Gase, or if the Browns suddenly decide that they'd rather not wait until February 3 to make their coaching hire, then Pettine could very well end up the leading candidate for the job in short order.

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