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Browns huddle over coach game plan

Cleveland Browns owner Al Lerner and team president Carmen Policy are spending time together, along with their wives, in a retreat to discuss the future of the franchise after the firing of coach Chris Palmer last week.

Bob Stoops
While Oklahoma football coach Bob Stoops has told OU fans he plans to stay in Norman, he remains an intriguing possibility for the Browns.

University of Miami coach Butch Davis turned down a $3-million-per-year opportunity to coach the Browns.

The Browns will interview some offensive coordinators, such as Mike McCarthy of New Orleans, Marty Mornhinweg of the 49ers and Sean Payton of the Giants, but it is Ravens defensive coordinator Marvin Lewis who is emerging as a strong candidate to replace Palmer.

Policy likes the way Lewis carries himself, sources said. Lewis also would give the Browns familiarity with the AFC Central division, and hiring Lewis would sting a nemesis in Brian Billick, who embarrassed the Browns by rejecting their overtures in public before turning to Baltimore (which turned out to be a good move). Oh, Lerner and Ravens owner Art Modell aren't buddies anymore, either.

Oklahoma's Bob Stoops remains an intriguing candidate. Despite his public statements to fans at the Oklahoma basketball game on Saturday, Stoops is interested in the Browns job.

Policy noted last Thursday, shortly after the dismissal of Palmer, that he and Stoops both hail from Youngstown, Ohio. One of Policy's sons played high school football for Stoops' father, who died of a heart attack on the sidelines when the younger Policy was in uniform.

It's also an interesting coincidence that Stoops hired Mike Leach as offensive coordinator when he first took the Oklahoma job two years ago. Leach, who is now the head coach at Texas Tech, was Tim Couch's offensive coordinator at Kentucky.

Washington's Rick Neuheisel is another college coach who is being scrutinized.



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