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Bruce Arians Says He'd Consider Browns Job, Backs Chuck Pagano as Potential Hire

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistNovember 5, 2018

SEATTLE, WA - DECEMBER 31:  Head Coach Bruce Arians of the Arizona Cardinals against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field on December 31, 2017 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

If Bruce Arians ever returns to the NFL as a head coach, it will only be for the Cleveland Browns.

"Cleveland is the only job I would consider," he told reporters Sunday when asked if he would be interested in coaching again, per Steve Doerschuk of CantonRep.com.

When asked who he would hire for Cleveland's head coaching position after the season, however, Arians said his guy would be former Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano

Arians, 66, is currently working as an analyst for CBS Sports. But he has a long history in coaching, which included a stint as the Browns offensive coordinator from 2001-03.

Other notable coaching gigs included being the head coach at Temple (1983-88); the offensive coordinator for Mississippi State (1993-95), Alabama (1997) and the Pittsburgh Steelers (2007-11); the offensive coordinator and interim head coach for the Indianapolis Colts in 2012; and the head coach for the Arizona Cardinals (2013-17).

Arians worked under Pagano with the Colts, taking over as interim head coach when Pagano was diagnosed with leukemia. The Colts promptly went 9-3 under Arians. According to Doerschuk, Arians wanted Cleveland's head coaching position in 2013, though the team hired Rob Chudzinski instead.

Chudzinski lasted one season in Cleveland, going 4-12. Arians took the gig in Arizona, leading the team to playoff berths in 2014 and 2015.

His connections to Cleveland also include an affinity for the team's starting quarterback, Baker Mayfield, who he praised in January when discussing the quarterbacks in the 2018 draft class.

"I like Baker," he said, per Josh Edwards of 247Sports.com. "His enthusiasm, because it's real, not false. Got to curb it a little, maybe, but maybe not. Guys respect 'real' in the locker room. If that's who you really are, they'll follow you."

Whether the Browns and general manager John Dorsey would consider Arians for their head coaching gig after the season is still unknown. But if they come calling, it seems likely that Arians would strongly consider the opportunity.

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