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Will Browns fans influence coaching hire?

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Many Browns players spoke highly of interim coach Gregg Williams after their win against Cincinnati, and Mike Florio thinks if the support continues, Williams' interim position could turn into a permanent one.

Former Cardinals coach Bruce Arians continues to talk about a job for which there’s no indication anyone wants to talk to him. But Arians knows what he’s doing, because if he says the right thing at the right time to the right audience, the right person could decide he’s the right man for the job.

Arians, who for years refused to play political games or otherwise promote himself for open positions, has opted to subtly launch a media-based effort to build support for the Browns’ head-coaching job. It started innocently enough, with a seemingly spontaneous blurt that he’d return to the game for only one job — the Browns job. It continued over the weekend with quotes on the record to the NFL’s in-house media outlet regarding his interest in the job.

And he said he’s ultimately interested in the job not because of the presence of a young franchise quarterback who could lead a team to the Super Bowl, but because of (wait for it) the fans.

“I’ve always loved Cleveland,” Arians told NFL.com. “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.”

When he was asked point blank to attribute his interest to the quality of the roster or the fans, Arians said, “Mostly the fans.”

It’s a smart move by Arians. Even though the job has been open for several weeks, and Arians is available to be approached, he apparently hasn’t heard from G.M. John Dorsey. Indeed, Arians pegged his chances of getting an interview at “one percent” before adding, “We’ll see.”

We’ll definitely see, based on whether the fans take to Arians the way Arians has taken to the fans. Because if one homeless guy can influence owner Jimmy Haslam to select Johnny Manziel, imagine what thousands of home-dwelling (and ticket-buying) fans can do, if they get behind the idea of Arians becoming the next head coach.

Of course, there’s also a chance that interim coach Gregg Williams wins enough games to get the fans behind him. Regardless, whoever gets the fans has a good chance of getting the gig, and Arians is wisely doing what he can to get in line.