At least three assistants have said no thanks to the Browns. Arizona defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, a respected coach who has been in the NFL for almost 20 years without getting a shot at a permanent head-coaching job, said no. Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, who is from Ohio and should feel fortunate to be getting considered for a second chance after an absolute debacle in Denver, pulled out of consideration. And now Gase, with all of one year as a NFL coordinator, doesn't want it either.
Again, there are only 32 of these jobs in the world. No coach can be sure he'll ever get a shot at one. And multiple assistants have turned Cleveland down. The Browns can't exactly go into a press conference after they finally hire a coach and pretend he was their first choice, can they?
The fallout from firing Rob Chudzinksi after just one year might be much stronger than first realized. The Browns fired Chudzinski after one season despite injury issues at quarterback and trading running back Trent Richardson early in the season. They canned him without any great reason, at least none that have been revealed publicly.
This is a franchise with a good defense, some good pieces on offense (tackle Joe Thomas, receiver Josh Gordon and tight end Jordan Cameron among them), the fourth overall pick of the draft and another first-rounder thanks to the Richardson trade. Cleveland has a tremendous fan base that is desperate for a winner. It should be a fairly attractive job. And nobody seems to want it.
Last week Browns owner Jimmy Haslam told fans through an open letter to not worry. Well, worrying seems to be the proper reaction now.