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NEWS STAFF REPORT

“Your call is very important to us; please continue to hold.”

That’s the message the Cleveland Browns conveyed to Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator Mike Pettine on Wednesday night. The Browns still had not decided on a new head coach, a day after interviewing Pettine a second time.

The Browns’ long search remains intriguing, but Pettine could be hired as soon as Thursday, The Buffalo News has learned.

Sources close to the situation echoed multiple reports that by Wednesday night Pettine was the Browns’ top vetted candidate, and the club might be ready to end the process. The Browns interviewed former Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano, but reportedly decided he wasn’t a fit.

ESPNCleveland.com reported late Wednesday that New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels might be back in the mix after apparently dropping out of the search two weeks ago.

The NFL Network reported Pettine will be at the Browns’ facility today in Berea, Ohio, for a third interview.

The Browns also were interested in Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, who is in preparations for the Super Bowl and can’t be hired until Feb. 3 at the earliest.

The Browns have been without a coach since firing Rob Chudzinski on Dec. 29.