At least three assistant coaches took themselves out of the running for the Cleveland Browns' head coaching job before Mike Pettine was hired two weeks ago.
Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn hinted Monday that he would have strongly considered jumping ship had the Browns stalled for a few more weeks.
"I certainly would've been interested," Quinn told The Plain Dealer. "I mean, it's a big-time place. It's the Cleveland Browns."
Quinn met with the Browns in early January, but decided it was in his historically great defense's best interest to delay a second interview until after Super Bowl XLVIII.
"To me, it was important," Quinn explained. "The relationship I have with these players, to understand we're all in it together -- I couldn't be more proud to be part of that group."
Quinn's loyalty to the Seahawks put Browns CEO Joe Banner in a tight spot.
Pettine said he "certainly would've backed out" had he been placed on the back burner for two more weeks. Banner referred to the elimination of Quinn's candidacy as the toughest decision of the entire process.
One of the league's bright young defensive minds, Quinn unfurled a masterpiece of a game plan against the Broncos' record-breaking offense.
His comments provide a fascinating "what-if" scenario for Browns fans to stew over.
On last week's "Around The League Podcast" Super Bowl preview, Browns backer Marc Sessler said there's no NFL coach he'd rather share a few beers with than Quinn.
That sentiment came just a week after Sessler defended the Pettine hire, referring to Rex Ryan's former right-hand man as "a hyper-prepared, open-minded -- often humorous -- unifier who views his fellow coaches as nothing less than brothers."
For all of the January trash talk about the Browns as an NFL laughingstock, they narrowed their choice to two excellent candidates, each of whom passed Sessler's thorough inspection.
The "Around The League Podcast" taped our Super Bowl XLVIII recap from MetLife Stadium right after the game.