Chat rewind: Browns' coaching search

Some highlights of this week's AFC North chat ...

Andre (Tallahassee, FL): Assuming Todd Haley bolts Pittsburgh for a head coach position, do the Steelers have any in-house candidates to replace him, or will they go after a Norv Turner or other fired head coaches if the timing is right?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN): I don't see Haley going anywhere. If he does, look for running backs coach Kirby Wilson to become OC. He was expected to get the job before he suffered severe burns in a house fire last January.

Ballin Baller (Bmore): We need to retain Paul Kruger. With $15 million in cap space, can we do it?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN): All of that cap space will get eaten up if Ravens put tag on Flacco. Kruger has really improved his stock this year and in the playoffs (2.5 sacks). Ravens like to retain their own, but they won't overpay for Kruger.

Steven (Columbus, Ohio): Who are the Browns going to hire??

Jamison Hensley (ESPN): I would hire Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer, but I am a few billion short of becoming an owner.

Bradley (NYC): Hi Jamison - everyone's talking (looking at you, Ashley Fox) like Pats/Broncos is a forgone conclusion for the AFC title game. In your opinion, who does the Ravens game hinge on to play spoiler? Flacco? Rice? Jim Caldwell?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN): The Ravens have won their last 16 games when Flacco plays four quarters and doesn't throw an interception.

Pete (Olney, MD): If the Ravens cut Anquan Boldin ($7.5 million) and Jameel McClain ($3 million), couldn't they afford Kruger and Dannell Ellerbe?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN): Are we talking about the same Boldin who carried the offense in Sunday's playoff game?

Allen (Work): Do you think Marc Trestman could turn around Weeden since he has familiarity with him and could tailor his offense to suit Brandon Weeden?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN): I like Trestman as a OC more than a HC.

prnitz (Delaware): The story about Bill Cowher making a comeback is burning up the ESPN server with the amount of interest/comments. One favorite theme is Cowher to Cleveland. Any insight on whether thats even a remote possibility?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN): I don't see Cowher coaching in Cleveland or anywhere this season or next. It will be a couple of years before he surfaces again.

James (DC): Weren't the "odds against Baltimore" when they won the superbowl in 2000?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN): They were a three-point favorites over the Giants in the Super Bowl. So, no.

Nick (Syracuse): Do you think Ed Reed will return next year? If he's thinking of returning, do you think he'll retire if he gets a ring this year?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN): My initial assessment is that there is a better chance that Reed will be playing elsewhere next season than returning to the Ravens. That could change over the next month or so. But that's my first impression of the situation knowing the Ravens and Reed.

Dan (Cincinnati,OH): Should the Bengals draft a RB within their first three picks ?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN): There is a need for speed.

Mark (Houston): Do you think Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden leaves Cincy this year if offered a head coaching job?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN): Not at all. I believe Gruden will only go for the right job.

Squall (Balamb Garden): The Ravens can beat the Broncos if they hold them under __ points. Fill in the blank.

Jamison Hensley (ESPN): 20 points. Ravens are 9-0 this season when holding teams at 20 or fewer points.