After today's game between the San Diego Chargers and the Denver Broncos, we could learn a lot about the Cleveland Browns' coaching search. After the game is over, they will have the ability to interview or hire either team's offensive coordinator -- that would be Ken Whisenhunt on the Chargers or Adam Gase on the Broncos.
The interest in Whisenhunt has already been documented. The Browns interviewed him twice last offseason, and they interviewed him again on Saturday. Whisenhunt seems to be drawing the interest of several other teams, though, and several reports have indicated that the Detroit Lions appear to be the favorite to land him. Given their team's superior quarterback situation, coupled with some other offensive weapons (Calvin Johnson and Reggie Bush), it wouldn't be a surprise to see Whisenhunt favor that gig.
Gase, on the other hand, is an interesting case. Right after Rob Chudzinski was fired, Gase's name is one of the first ones that popped up. Unlike other coaches, Gase said that he was turning down all interview requests until Denver's season was finished. In the mean time, a bunch of other names -- from the college and professional ranks -- have been tied to Cleveland. Because Cleveland hasn't pulled the trigger with any other coach yet, some have speculated that Gase is the guy they are really targeting.
Furthering that thought is the report made by FOX Sports' Jay Glazer on Sunday. When discussing coaching situations around the league, Glazer said that he is hearing that Gase is the top name on the Browns' wish list. Jasan La Canfora also chimed in that the Browns still hope to be able to interview Gase. Even Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, who has had some conflicting information regarding the Browns' coaching search, is hearing that Gase is still in the mix:
"How long will they wait" is the answer indeed. La Canfora hinted that Gase might take advantage of one more year as an offensive coordinator for Peyton Manning, because he would then be the "it" coordinator to hire as a head coach in 2015 when a more attractive job might become available. There's a chance he might take an interview with Cleveland just for the experience, but still turn down the opportunity. If that happens in February (after the Super Bowl), Cleveland's pool of head coaching candidates will really be lessened. Then what do you do?
If the Broncos lose against the Chargers, though, it could benefit Cleveland: they'll know sooner whether Gase has any remote interest in the job, and if not, can move on to another candidate.