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Bruce Arians: Browns 'only' team I'd consider coaching

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Bruce Arians is serious.

The retired former Arizona Cardinals coach, who joined the media ranks this year, said this week his retirement from head coaching might not last a year.

In an interview with NFL.com, Arians was asked about his coaching future and if a return to the sidelines was possible.

"I would listen to the Browns," Arians said. "And only them."

Arians went on to say that not only is he serious about shedding the microphone after just one year, but his wife (who famously welcomed his retirement) is on board with him returning.

This is not the first time Arians has broached the topic of a short retirement. He told the Canton (Ohio) Repository in early November that he'd consider the Browns.

At the time, though, Arians told those close to him that he did it as a way of pushing former Colts coach Chuck Pagano as a candidate. Arians, who will be in the CBS booth for Dolphins vs. Colts on Sunday, doubled down on his thoughts and made clear this was for real.

Arians also said he's not going to be a candidate for any other job.

"I've always loved Cleveland," Arians said. "The fans, shoot, one of the best groups in the league and when I called their game this past year, I got that feeling about them."

Asked if it's newly nurtured talent on their roster or the fans that make him want the job, Arians said, "Mostly the fans."

The Browns, sources say, are going to prioritize a hire who works for Baker Mayfield in their search for a new coach. That doesn't necessarily mean an offensive coach, it could just be a leader who fits Mayfield. But his future will be a focus.

Either way, Arians' proficiency in schooling quarterbacks won't go unnoticed. What's not clear is how serious a candidate he would be in Cleveland for general manager John Dorsey.

Arians did say that if he got the job, he'd keep Freddie Kitchens as offensive coordinator and would consider keeping defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, as well.

It's a package worth pondering, and Arians could even interview with the team before the season is over. Arians is confident about his chances of landing an interview with the team.

"One percent," Arians said. "But we'll see."

Follow Ian Rapoport on Twitter @RapSheet.

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