Patience is a virtue, and the Cleveland Browns have shown plenty of it.
While six other teams have filled their coaching vacancies with former NFL head coaches and some of the league's top assistants, the Browns have methodically gone through the process of interviewing, while, at the same time, waiting to speak with all of the candidates they have requested time from before making their choice.
According to Don Banks of *The Monday Morning* *Quarterback* at SI.com, the Browns have bucked the trend of speed-hiring a new coach:
"As quaint as it might sound in the instant-gratification world in which we live, the Browns deserve kudos for actually showing some restraint in the pursuit of their next coach," Banks wrote. "Because the speed dating that passes for the NFL head coaching interview and hiring process these days is growing more frenzied all the time."
While appreciating the Browns' patience, Banks wonders why it is not a more common practice in the NFL:
"Why is it in the NFL that most teams will spends months preparing for the draft, and weeks and weeks diving into free agency research and preparation, but then feel the need to invest only a handful of days into a critically important head coaching search? Isn't picking your next coach at least as important as picking your next crop of players?
"That's the way the hiring-season game is played now, but that can't possibly be the best solution. While there will no doubt be issues to overcome no matter when the interview window falls, the most equitable thing to do is to make teams wait until after the Super Bowl is played to interview and hire a new head coach. Revolutionary, I know, but it would remove some of the biggest problems that exist in the current NFL system, even if it didn't serve to dramatically slow the pace of the hirings once the window opens."
After missing Wednesday's practice, with what was referred to as an illness, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady returned to the practice field Thursday ahead of this weekend's AFC Championship Game at the Denver Broncos.
Brady told reporters Thursday: "It was nothing. I feel great."
"There's days where I've missed days of practice and you just deal with them," Brady said. "I've played a lot of football over the whole season and I got back out there today and it felt good. It was good to be out there. We were moving around (well) and the team's practicing (well), so that's the biggest positive for us.
"We need to practice (well). We need to go out and play (well). That's going to be the most important thing. They're going to challenge us in a lot of ways. They challenged us last time we played them here. Going on the road to a great environment like this, where the crowd is really going to be into it, it's going to be an exciting challenge for us. I'm excited."
WELKER HEAPS PRAISE
Broncos wide receiver Wes Welker has a unique take on Sunday's AFC Championship Game, mainly because he has played with both quarterbacks in the game, Brady and Denver's Peyton Manning.
In talking about comparing the quarterbacks Thursday, Welker compared the Pro Football Hall of Fame-bound players to fine artists.
"It's like comparing Picasso and Michelangelo," Welker said, according to ProFootballTalk.com.
"There aren't too many differences," Welker said. "They are great quarterbacks. They do a great job of keeping guys accountable, and their leadership skills and everything else. They are two guys you want quarterbacking your team. It's a toss-up between those two."
RYAN GETS CONTRACT EXTENSION
Often the talk of being on the hot seat, New York Jets coach Rex Ryan received a multi-year contract extension, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.
And Randy Lange of NewYorkJets.com quotes Ryan as saying: "I'm just an ordinary guy that's been given an unbelievable opportunity."
"I've said all along, I'm glad to be a Jet, I'm happy to be a Jet," Ryan said. "That's never changed. I know what we all want and we're striving to get there. But it's not about me. We're already into our offseason planning. There are a lot of areas where we can improve and we can't wait to get this thing rolling."