Bruce Arians: I'd only come out of retirement for Browns

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Bruce Arians is enjoying retirement. He likes watching the game from the broadcast booth.

Or at least that's what he told our Ed Sherman.

Those rumblings you hear in the distance? That's the coaching bug awakening within Arians. Put your ear closer to the ground and you'll hear it whisper:

Cleveland.

Arians was in town for the Browns' Week 9 contest against the Kansas City Chiefs. The former coach was on the CBS call of the game, which ended in a 37-21 win for the visiting team.

During a break in the action, the Canton Repository's Steve Doerschuk asked Arians if he'd consider coming out of retirement for another head coaching job. After all, there's going to be an opening in Cleveland in January 2019.

"Cleveland is the only job I would consider," Arians replied.

Now, before you start cooking up Photoshopped images of Arians in an orange-and-brown driver's cap, let's first consider his background. Arians was the offensive coordinator of the only Browns team to make a playoff appearance since the rebirth of the franchise via expansion in 1999. The coach guided the Tim Couch- and Kelly Holcomb-led unit to a productive regular season, squeaking into the playoffs thanks to a Week 17 win over the Atlanta Falcons -- Browns fans remember that snowy day for Jim Donovan's "Run, William, run" call of William Green's touchdown scamper -- and some outside help.

A week later, they found themselves with a 17-point lead on the road in a Wild Card game against the rival Steelers. Then, thanks in part to a demand from head coach Butch Davis to play prevent defense, the wheels fell off.

They've never really been fastened correctly since.

Arians understands what the team means to the region's residents, and also the unique challenges that come with two decades of ineptitude. After all, he was fired by the Browns after the 2003 season, when things suddenly turned from promising to disaster.

His advice for Browns GM John Dorsey? Hire a veteran.

"My guy would be Chuck Pagano," Arians said, backing the candidacy of the coach he once replaced on an interim basis while Pagano battled leukemia.

Might a Pagano-Arians reunion be possible? It was remarkably successful in 2012, when the Indianapolis Colts went from 2-14 to 11-5 and a Wild Card berth with Arians holding the reins for Pagano. But with Arians gone to Arizona from 2013-2017, Pagano struggled to replicate the magic and was fired by the Colts.

Arians, meanwhile, retired after posting three double-digit-win seasons in five years as head coach of the Cardinals. He owns a record of 49-30-1 with a 1-2 mark in the playoffs as a head coach in the NFL.

Retirement is treating him well. But the job he wanted in 2013 has always drawn his eye and is again available. Until it's settled, Arians' candidacy can't be ruled out. Feel free to pass the time by cropping and pasting.

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