For those wondering how strong the Cleveland Browns' interest in Bruce Arians was this offseason, the answer was revealed when local reporters caught up with him at the NFL Combine on Thursday. According to Pat McManamon of FOX Sports Ohio, "the Browns filed the paperwork on Arians, but it never went any further than that."
Chudzinski was named the Browns' new head coach on January 10, 2013. One week later, Arians was named the new head coach of the Arizona Cardinals. In a rather unique twist, after Arians was hired, the Cardinals decided not to retain defensive coordinator Ray Horton, who was then snatched up by Chudzinski in Cleveland. Nonetheless, Arians still had high praise for Horton:
"I think the Browns got a great coach a head coach in waiting. It wasn't the right fit at the right time for us" -Bruce Arians on Ray Horton— Daryl Ruiter (@RuiterWrongFAN) February 21, 2013
Earlier in his conference, Arians said the following about Horton:
"He'll do a great job. We won that Super Bowl together and I have all the respect in the world for him. I always felt like, had I got a job, I wanted Todd Bowles (to be my DC). He's a bright young coach too. Just more history. But I feel Ray is one of the best."
Per McManamon, Arians also gave some vocal support to Brandon Weeden, which might be more than the Browns' new regime has done all offseason. "He played very well against us," said Arians, referring to Weeden's performance in Cleveland's loss to Indianapolis this past season. "[If Gordon] catches that pass, they might win the game. I think he’s got a great future."