NEW ORLEANS - JANUARY 4: Head coach Bob Stoops of Oklahoma reacts to a call in the second quarter during the Nokia Sugar Bowl National Championship game against LSU on January 4, 2004 at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana.
That one rumor about Bob Stoops and the Browns made its way to Oklahoma’s beat writers, and Stoops was asked about it on Friday morning after the Sugar Bowl.
The Oklahoma coach and Ohio native didn’t shoot it down. He didn’t exactly feed it, either.
According to the Oklahoman, Stoops’ answer to a question about his possible interest in becoming the Browns head coach was, "You never know."
Asked if it’s all speculation, Stoops said, "There’s a lot of that."
So that’s all this is, the newspaper reported he was then asked.
"Sure," Stoops said.
During a phone interview with The Dan Patrick Show on Friday morning, Stoops expressed much the same sentiment, saying he never confirms or denies such reports.
These coaches are always working. And when they’re not, they’re negotiating.
The speculation stems from one tweet during the Fiesta Bowl by St. Louis Rams sideline reporter and St. Louis 101 ESPN NFL Insider Tony Softli, who tweeted that Stoops, might have the fast track to become the Browns’ seventh full-time coach in the new era.
No other reports have linked Stoops to the job. Softli hasn’t tweeted since.
Various media reports have stated the Browns are set to interview Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, Cardinals defensive coordinator Todd Bowles and Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn. Other reports linked the Browns to possible interest in Auburn coach Gus Malzahn and Vanderbilt coach James Franklin, both of whom are coaching this weekend and both of whom are clients of agent Jimmy Sexton, who also represents McDaniels.
Bowles is a former Browns assistant, but that was four administrations ago. The only known connection comes via McDaniels and Browns general manager Mike Lombardi, as both are tied closely to Patriots coach Bill Belichick. Lombardi spoke and wrote highly of McDaniels during his time with NFL Network.
To the Browns credit, the team has said nothing. To the Browns fault, they were doing this last year at this time, too.