AFC North: Scott Piole

Broncos opening impacts Browns

December, 31, 2008
12/31/08
10:00
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker

The Cleveland Browns better move fast.

 
 Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images
 Broncos owner Pat Bowlen could make it difficult for Cleveland to land its ideal targets.

There is a new glamour job available with the Denver Broncos. This came after the team surprisingly fired Mike Shanahan Tuesday night following a late-season collapse.

Prior to this move, Cleveland was competing with teams such as the Kansas City Chiefs and the Detroit Lions for candidates. The Browns were considered on equal footing with this group. But now the Browns have some serious competition from the Rocky Mountains. 

Denver is considered an A-plus destination with a highly respected owner in Pat Bowlen. Shanahan was the second-longest tenured coach in the NFL, which garnered a lot of respect around the league for Bowlen's emphasis on stability.

As time goes on, the Browns and Broncos likely will share some of the same targets on their wish lists.

For instance, what if Denver now covets New England Patriots GM Scott Pioli, who is Cleveland's first choice? Pioli would have to take the time to seriously compare the pros and cons of the two teams.

Also, what if the Broncos choose to entertain coaching candidates Eric Mangini, Josh McDaniels or Steve Spagnuolo, which are more possibilities for Cleveland? Which team do you think is more attractive to these coaches?

The Browns do not want to get in a one-on-one power struggle with the Broncos. There is little comparison between the two organizations when it comes to success and stability, and those are two very important factors.

It's difficult to ignore the fact that the Browns are hiring their fourth coach in 10 years, while Denver had only Shanahan for the past 14 seasons.

So the Browns better make a final decision soon -- very soon -- before the Broncos begin their overtures and interviews. Cleveland doesn't want this hiring process to get to a point where attractive candidates start comparing its resume with Denver's.

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