Browns could hire coach first

Though Cleveland has interviewed general managers and head coaching candidates, the Browns have told people around the league that it is most critical to get the head coaching hire right and they could wind up hiring a head coach first.

Maybe it’s just that they were that impressed with Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, who is said to have wowed Cleveland with his three-plus hour interview on Friday.

McDaniels is from Canton, and would be a popular choice in the area. Many have assumed that he is part of a package with New England executive Scott Pioli; but it is not true. One, neither or both could eventually surface in Cleveland, but they will not go there together as a package.

If they go, it will be because Browns owner Randy Lerner wanted each. But McDaniels could have other options. He will meet Sunday in the Providence, R.I. area with Broncos owner Pat Bowlen and a contingent of Denver officials.

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