Browns ask Broncos permission to speak with Adam Gase

The Associated Press Updated: December 30, 2013 at 4:40 pm • Published: December 30, 2013 0

ENGLEWOOD — The architect of Denver's record-breaking offense is getting attention on Black Monday.

Denver coach John Fox confirmed the Cleveland Browns have asked permission to interview his offensive coordinator, Adam Gase, about their vacant head coaching position following the firing of Rob Chudzinski.

Gase would be allowed to speak with the Browns this weekend because the Broncos are on a bye. However, Gase might decide not to interview for another job until Denver's season is over.

All Fox would say about the matter is that everyone in the organization is focused on the Broncos' Super Bowl aspirations.

"I just know that to a man, everyone — player or coach, in that locker room or in those offices — is totally focused on our next opponent and what we have to do to win that game," Fox said. "Whether it was USC (and its interest in defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio) earlier in the year or Black Monday candidates, it's all speculation. I can just assure you that all of our focus is on the Denver Broncos."

The Broncos don't make their coordinators available to the media until later in the week, usually on Thursday.

The Broncos (13-3) are the No. 1 seed in the AFC after Peyton Manning's spectacular season in which he threw for 55 TDs and 5,477 yards, both records.

Gase began his coaching career in 2000 at Louisiana State under Nick Saban. He broke into the NFL in 2003 as a scouting assistant in Detroit and was promoted to quarterbacks coach for the Lions in 2007. After serving a season as an offensive assistant with the 49ers, he came to Denver in 2009 and coached wide receivers for two years.

He was Tim Tebow's position coach in 2011 and Manning's position coach in 2012 before being promoted to offensive coordinator after Mike McCoy took the head coaching job in San Diego last January.

Gase promised a more up-tempo offense and delivered as the Broncos averaged 37.9 points, the most in the Super Bowl era, and became the first team to top 600 points in a season.

It appeared as though Del Rio had burnished his head coaching credentials after leading Denver to a 3-1 record as interim head coach during Fox's absence following open-heart surgery in November, but Gase drew first attention.

"That's an honor because that shows he's doing a great job here, he's got a great offense rolling, the No. 1 offense ever," Broncos receiver Bubba Caldwell said. "We don't know if this is his time or not or what might happen, but he's doing a great job with us, so I think the league is recognizing that."

Caldwell said he felt Gase wouldn't interview for the Browns' vacancy or with any other team that might come calling until the Broncos' playoff run is over.

"I definitely get that sense that he's got some unfinished business here that we've got to take care of and he doesn't want to be a distraction in any way, so he's going to finish the goal at hand," Caldwell said.

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

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Follow AP Pro Football Writer Arnie Melendrez Stapleton on Twitter: http://twitter.com/arniestapleton

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