Former Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians is retired, and has started a second career in the broadcast booth. But in an interview he gave to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport, he said that he’d come out of retirement to coach just one team, and one team only: the Cleveland Browns.
“I would listen to the Browns,” Arians said. “And only them.”
Arians has been retired for less than a year, but the thought of coaching the Browns is so enticing that he’d be willing to step back onto the sidelines for them and only them.
This isn’t the first time Arians’ interest in the Browns has come up. He mentioned it in passing at a Q&A in early November to the Canton Republic. Now it’s more than a random idea — Arians said that his wife, who was very much in favor of his retirement in 2017, is on board with his interest in the Browns.
Arians certainly isn’t as exciting a candidate as Condoleezza Rice, but he definitely makes more sense. He was Cleveland’s offensive coordinator from 2001-2003, and was on staff for the Browns’ lone playoff appearance since 1999. When Rapoport asked him about Cleveland, Arians was effusive.
“I’ve always loved Cleveland,” Arians said. “The fans, shoot, one of the best groups in the league and when I called their game this past year, I got that feeling about them.”
Asked if it’s newly nurtured talent on their roster or the fans that make him want the job, Arians said, “Mostly the fans.”
While Arians said that fans are one of the main enticements of the Browns coaching job, it’s hard to imagine that he’s not excited about quarterback Baker Mayfield. According to Rapoport, the Browns are prioritizing Mayfield above all else in their coaching search.
There haven’t been a lot of names bandied about as far as a permanent replacement for Hue Jackson. Interim head coach Gregg Williams will be interviewed, but Browns general manager John Dorsey hasn’t revealed much more. During a state-of-the-franchise news conference a few weeks ago, he said that he’s looking for “a man of character” who can “lead young men” and with a “high football acumen.”
Dorsey’s quote mostly sounds like football word salad, but he knows how important this hire is. During that news conference, he also said “I keep telling myself, ‘Just don’t mess this thing up.'”
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