Adam Gase cited his desire to focus on Super Bowl XLVIII as the reason for withdrawing. (Jack Dempsey/AP)
In terms of wooing an AFC Championship Game offensive coordinator to the head coaching gig in Cleveland, the Browns finished 0-for-2.
Denver's Adam Gase withdrew his name from consideration for the Browns' job, Mike Klis reported Tuesday. Earlier, the Patriots' Josh McDaniels did the same thing, though Klis noted that Gase's desire to focus on the upcoming Super Bowl was his reason for turning down the possible opportunity.
As a result, the Browns have turned their attention more fully to current Bills and ex-Jets defensive coordinator Mike Pettine -- he will have his second interview with Cleveland's front office Tuesday night, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. Seattle defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, who like Gase has a pretty important ballgame to prepare for, also has interviewed once with the Browns.
Cleveland is the lone team in the league without a head coach at the moment, after Tampa Bay, Washington, Detroit, Minnesota, Houston and Tennessee all plucked new coaches from various spots. In the court of public opinion, the delay has registered as a bit of a black eye for the downtrodden Browns, who have had three coaches in the past five seasons; Rob Chudzinski lasted just one year before being pushed out.
How damaging is all of this in the grand scheme of things? Obviously, a lot of that answer lies not only with what coach the Browns eventually settle on but how he performs early. Any potential free-agent targets of Cleveland could be turned off by the presumed indecision there.
SI's Don Banks, however, cast a vote for the Browns' drawn-out process last week.
As quaint as it might sound in the instant-gratification world in which we live, the Browns deserve kudos for actually showing some restraint in the pursuit of their next coach. Because the speed dating that passes for the NFL head coaching interview and hiring process these days is growing more frenzied all the time. ... Maybe if the Browns had taken a little bit more time to make their coaching decision last year, they wouldn’t have felt it necessary to can Chudzinski one year into a four-year contract. Live and learn, I guess.
The recent decisions by Gase and McDaniels may actually tell us more about both of their prospects than about the Browns' issues. McDaniels is believed by some to be in line to succeed 61-year-old Bill Belichick as the Patriots' head coach whenever Belichick opts to call it a career.
The 36-year-old Gase, meanwhile, could find himself as one of the most highly-sought coaching commodities after the 2014 season. He has excelled in a record-setting first season as the Broncos' offensive coordinator -- aided, no doubt, by the presences of Peyton Manning and a loaded receiving corps. By this time next year, Gase should be wrapping his second season calling plays for Denver's Manning-led attack, and it is unlikely that the Broncos offense will suffer too much assuming their QB returns.
Somewhat surprisingly, Gase never really emerged as much of a candidate for the open jobs in Washington and Detroit, where franchise quarterbacks are believed to be in place. Houston, which could land a top QB with the No. 1 pick in this year's draft, also did not turn much attention in Gase's direction.
All the teams that went coach hunting this offseason, including Cleveland, could regret missing out on Gase down the line.
In the meantime, the Browns still find themselves in need of a coach -- with the combine, free agency and the draft approaching rapidly on the calendar.