By Tony Grossi | ESPNCleveland.com
Extra Points …
News traveled fast: Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn was the second finalist for the Browns head coaching job, a team source confirmed, even though they did not notify him directly when they chose Mike Pettine.
Quinn said at the Seahawks Super Bowl hotel on Wednesday that the Browns never talked to him the day they decided on their new head coach. He found out “just like everybody else” when the Browns announced it.
Quinn had his first interview with the Browns in Seattle the week rafter the end of the regular season. And that was the last time he spoke with the Browns, he said.
Once the Seahawks advanced in the NFC playoffs, Quinn said he made the decision to postpone a second interview with the Browns until after the Super Bowl. But that conversation never took place with the Browns, he said.
“We had such a focus about what we’re doing here, (waiting) was something that would have been important to me if it had come to that,” Quinn said. “I didn’t have any contact with them in that regard.”
In a sidebar interview after the Pettine introduction, Browns CEO Joe Banner said the decision to not wait for Quinn “was probably the toughest decision” of the 25-day coaching search.
Pettine later said in interviews that he would have dropped out of the running if asked to wait for the Super Bowl, out of respect to the Bills who were on hold for a decision from him.
Banner also said that day that there was another finalist besides Pettine, but “beyond that I don’t want to say (who).”
The source on Wednesday said the Browns notified Quinn’s agent of their choice and Banner and owner Jimmy Haslam have texted with Quinn since.
For the record, Quinn said he didn’t feel the Browns’ job was “toxic” or undesirable.
“No, I didn’t feel that way at all. I think once you get a real sense of how important football is in Ohio … I definitely think they were totally committed to building a winning team there,” he said.
Sherman’s a fan: When Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman ranted that 49ers receiver Michael Crabtree wasn’t a “top 20 NFL receiver,” he gave a huge shoutout to the Browns’ Josh Gordon.
Sherman wrote in a column for themmqb.com, “There are a lot of receivers playing good ball out there, and Josh Gordon needed 14 games to produce almost double what Crabtree can do in a full season. And Gordon had Brandon Weeden, Brian Hoyer and Jason Campbell playing quarterback."
On Wednesday, Sherman said he was just speaking as a fan of football and that Gordon “definitely” had caught his attention.
“I’ve watched his game. I’ve watched him grow as a player,” Sherman said. “He’s had a fantastic season. He’s had to deal with multiple quarterbacks, a lot of adversity. He missed a couple games early on and went out and still led the league in yards. That’s hard to do, especially as a second-year player.”
Last word on Gase: Denver offensive coordinator Adam Gase explained further why he removed himself from consideration for the Browns’ job. It wasn’t because he felt he wasn’t ready for the position at the age of 35 and with one year experience as a coordinator.
“That was the first thing they asked me, and I said I do feel that I was ready,” Gase said Wednesday at Broncos’ headquarters.
“It’s just when we beat San Diego and got to the next game, I just felt like mentally it was kind of … if we beat New England, I’m not going to be able to do anything till February and then it’s going to be a quick spiral with implementing an offense, getting the staff ready to go, getting to the combine – that’s a lot of stuff in like 2 ½ weeks.
“So I didn’t think it was fair to myself or them (because) I’m not going to get all this stuff implemented, and then I knew if we lost I was going to be out of it.”
Gase said that after he turned down the Browns’ original interview request, he received a call from Haslam.
“And then any time we won a game, they texted me and said, ‘Great game, keep on rolling.’”
|Tony Grossi covers the Browns for ESPN 850 WKNR, ESPN 1540 KNR2 and www.espncleveland.com. |
He has covered the Browns with distinction since 1984 and is one of 46 voters for the National Football League Hall of Fame. Email your “Hey Tony” questions to firstname.lastname@example.orgFollow Tony on Twitter @tonygrossi
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