Cleveland Browns: Bob Stoops

It was going to happen eventually.

Someone in Oklahoma would weigh in on the reality that Bob Stoops would not be coming to Cleveland and would not be interviewing with the Cleveland Browns, and weighed in with impact.

The commentary from Berry Tramel is here. This is the highlight, or lowlight, if you're from Cleveland: "Cleveland is the prime example of what keeps coaches like Stoops on campus."

Josh McDaniels, the New England Patriots offensive coordinator, interviewed to be the Cleveland Browns coach on Saturday.

Five days later, he decided to stay in New England.

Which answers a question that a few days ago seemed unanswerable: Why would a coach working in a good situation with an all-time great quarterback and Hall of Fame mentor want to take a job with a losing team that fired its coach after one season?

The answer: He wouldn’t.

The news that McDaniels withdrew came from ESPN’s Adam Schefter, who reported McDaniels had an excellent conversation with the Browns, but decided he was better off with the Patriots.

McDaniels’ one experience as a head coach in Denver ended poorly. At the age of 37, he doesn’t need to take a chance with another risky situation, which clearly is the situation in Cleveland.

Which leaves the Browns a ways from the “proven winner” they said they would hire when they started the coach search.

They spent Wednesday talking to Green Bay quarterbacks coach Ben McAdoo. He’s never been a coordinator, much less a head coach. Though most in the league feel McAdoo is not ready, Browns CEO Joe Banner was with the Eagles when Jeff Lurie hired an unknown quarterbacks coach from Green Bay named Andy Reid.

The Browns also have interviewed Seattle defensive coordinator Dan Quinn and Arizona defensive coordinator Todd Bowles. They have asked for permission to talk to Denver offensive coordinator Adam Gase, but he has declined to talk until Denver is out of the playoffs.

The Browns have been rumored to be interested in Vanderbilt’s James Franklin and Auburn’s Gus Malzahn. But Franklin has been linked to Penn State and he met with his Athletic Director at Vanderbilt on Tuesday night.

Malzahn agreed to a contract extension at Auburn on Dec. 7.

In addition, rumors that the Browns were interested in Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops turned out to be untrue.

Where this leaves the Browns is anyone’s guess.

A search is never over until it’s over -- to paraphrase Yogi Berra -- and the Browns may have a surprise up their sleeve.

But if they don’t, they are left with some names that haven’t exactly inspired the fan population.

It doesn’t mean the new coach can’t win, but it does make what is already a tough sell a little tougher.
Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops made the media rounds Friday, the day after his Sooners had beaten Alabama in the Sugar Bowl.

One of the main questions Stoops was asked was about his name being tied to the Cleveland Browns' coaching opening.

ESPN Radio’s Colin Cowherd asked him directly if he wanted to comment.

“I haven’t heard that,” Stoops said of reports in the Cleveland media linking him to the Browns. “But in the end, I don’t ever acknowledge or deny one way or another whenever anyone has any interest in me. That’s always a personal deal.

“I love where I’m at, I work with great people, and hope to be here a long time.”

Stoops also met with the Oklahoma beat writers.

Asked if he could become the new Browns' coach, Stoops replied: “You never know.”

He added there’s a lot of speculation, and when asked if that is all there is to these reports, he said: “Sure.”

The Browns are not commenting on potential candidates. They interviewed Arizona defensive coordinator Todd Bowles on Friday.