Pettine a finalist in Cleveland

CLEVELAND ( - The Cleveland Browns are still searching for a new head coach. Are we any closer to a name?

The Voice of the Browns Jim Donovan has the scoop.

Thursday now appears to be the critical day for the Browns' coach search. Channel 3 Sports has learned that the Browns have narrowed their list to two candidates.

The first? Mike Pettine, the defensive coordinator for the Buffalo Bills, will meet with the Browns for the third time, making him the favorite to land the job. A source confirmed to 2-On-Your-Side's Adam Benigni that is in fact the case.

The second candidate is Greg Schiano, former head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Schiano was fired at the end of this season. Before his two seasons with the Bucs, Schiano built the Rutgers University football program into an Eastern powerhouse.

The Browns interviewed Schiano Wednesday afternoon in Florida. Schiano has been a longtime disciple of Patriots' head coach Bill Belichick. Belichick has reportedly recommended Schiano to Browns' management for the job.

There are reports that the Browns management team spent Wednesday interviewing two candidates for the job.

The first was with Dirk Koetter, 54, the offensive coordinator of the Atlanta Falcons. The second candidate was Schiano.

Pettine's second interview with the Browns was conducted Tuesday night in Mobile, Alabama. He left the four-hour interview without a job offer but that could change on Thursday.

Pettine's current team – the Buffalo Bills – are currently making preparations to find a new defensive coordinator in the likelihood that Pettine leaves for the Browns job.

The Browns had been waiting to conduct a second interview with Dan Quinn, the Seattle Seahawks' defensive coordinator. As of yet, that interview has not been scheduled.


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