ESPN.com news services
The Browns are scheduling a second interview with Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator Mike Pettine and are considering other candidates, including Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, a league source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.
Gase called the Browns on Tuesday morning to inform the team that he wanted to concentrate on Denver’s upcoming matchup with Seattle in the Super Bowl and would not interview with Cleveland after the Feb. 2 game, according to multiple media reports.
The Browns, who have not made the postseason since 2002, are searching for a replacement for Rob Chudzinski, who was fired after going 4-12 in his only season with Cleveland.
Gase, 35, was the first candidate the Browns asked permission to speak with after firing Chudzinski in the hours following a Dec. 29 loss at Pittsburgh.
But Gase declined Cleveland’s initial offer for an interview so he could focus on the Broncos’ playoff run.
Cleveland also has been spurned by New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, who withdrew from the coaching search earlier this month, a source told ESPN.
Pettine met with Browns owner Jimmy Haslam and CEO Joe Banner last Thursday. The 47-year-old is coming off his first season with the Bills after four seasons as defensive coordinator for the New York Jets.
League rules prohibit teams from finalizing deals with assistant coaches still in the postseason. So even if the Browns meet again with Quinn, the club can’t discuss a contract until after the Super Bowl.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.