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Browns notes: Cross Falcons offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter off list of coaching candidates

By Nate Ulrich Published: January 2, 2013

Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter has removed himself as a candidate to become the Browns’ next head coach by signing a contract extension that will keep him off the market, Falcons coach Mike Smith confirmed while speaking to Atlanta reporters today.

Fox Sports’ Alex Marvez first reported the news this morning.

Koetter, 53, was scheduled to interview with the Browns and Philadelphia Eagles, and he made the decision to stay put after interviewing Tuesday with the Kansas City Chiefs, Marvez reported.

Koetter joined the Falcons in 2012 after serving as the offensive coordinator of the Jacksonville Jaguars from 2007-11. In his first season with the Falcons, they had the NFL’s eighth-ranked offense (369.1 yards per game), were seventh in scoring (26.2 points per game), went 13-3 and earned the NFC’s top playoff seed.

Koetter also has 22 years of collegiate coaching experience. He was the head coach at Arizona State University (2001-06) and Boise State University (1998-2000).

As the Browns’ coaching search progresses, reports have continued to link them to University of Oregon coach Chip Kelly and Penn State University coach Bill O’Brien. Click here for the story from today's newspaper.

And Browns CEO Joe Banner and owner Jimmy Haslam interviewed Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator Ray Horton on Tuesday, the Arizona Republic reported. By interviewing Horton, the Browns satisfied the Rooney Rule, which requires each NFL team to interview at least one minority candidate for a head-coaching vacancy.

In an interview with Arizona reporters, Horton said his interview with the Browns was "fantastic." Horton, who runs a 3-4 defense, also interviewed with the Cardinals and is scheduled to meet with the Buffalo Bills today.

Syracuse University coach Doug Marrone is also reportedly set to interview with the Browns. Click here for the story from today's newspaper.

Not budging?

Beacon Journal sports columnist Marla Ridenour is convinced University of Alabama coach Nick Saban is at the top of Haslam's wish list for head coaches. But she also realizes Haslam would probably need to pull off a minor miracle to lure Saban back to the NFL, where he went 15-17 in two seasons as the head coach of the Miami Dolphins.

Well, so far, Saban isn't budging. Mike Freeman of CBS Sports reported some NFL teams with head-coaching vacancies have sent out feelers to Saban, but he has told them he's not returning to the league.

It won't be a surprise if Saban, a Kent State graduate, stays at Alabama. Browns running back Trent Richardson, who played for Saban and the Crimson Tide for three seasons, has repeatedly said he would be "shocked" if his old coach leaves.

Tracking Big Red

Ex-Philadelphia Eagles coach Andy Reid is set to interview with the Kansas City Chiefs today before doing the same with the Cardinals, ESPN's Chris Mortensen reported this morning.

Reid is close with former Browns coach Pat Shurmur, former Browns General Manager Tom Heckert and Browns offensive coordinator Brad Childress. It'll be interesting to see if any of them follow Reid to his new job.

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