Jan 2, 2014; New Orleans, LA, USA; Oklahoma Sooners head coach Bob Stoops against the Alabama Crimson Tide during the second half of a game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Oklahoma defeated Alabama 45-31. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Browns coaching search: Rapoport reports top 3 candidates for the job

#Browns also very interested in #Broncos OC Adam Gase. But they’d have to wait for Denver to finish. Strong candidate but on backburner now

— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 4, 2014

Ian Rapoport tweeted out his top three candidates for the Cleveland Browns, but there seems to be a heavy lean on the first two simply for the fact that they can talk to them and get an agreement in place now.  Josh McDaniels, the offensive coordinator for the New England Patriots, Bob Stoops, head coach for Oklahoma and Adam Gase, the offensive coordinator of the Denver Broncos.

A few things stand out so far.  McDaniels’ name has been there from the beginning and that has not changed.  From the standpoint of he has been there the whole time in reports would make many believe that he is the guy they really want, but that is based purely on media reports.

Stoops is a recent curveball in this process, but Gase has been mentioned, disappeared and come back a few times.  He had turned down the chance to interview for a few teams, opting to focus on the playoffs.  That does not mean he said ‘no’ to anyone.  It just means he is not interviewing right now with the risk that he might not get a job if openings fill up while the Broncos are playing for a Super Bowl.

The name noticeably absent from the list is Gus Malzahn of Auburn.  His name was a big one because of his meteoric rise in the coaching field.  It is unclear if the interest is not there or maybe Malzahn is content to stay in college.  In either case, at least in this report, his name has vanished for the time being.

The other conclusion being drawn is that maybe no one knows anything for sure.  As illustrated by the Jim Tressel mention yesterday, names are flying in from all over the place.

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