Deciding not to wait until after the Super Bowl to hire their man, the Browns on Thursday afternoon reached a deal and named fiery former Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator Mike Pettine their seventh full-time head coach in the new era.

Pettine, 47, replaces Rob Chudzinski, who was fired Dec. 29 after going 4-12 in his inaugural season. Casting a wide net, the Browns interviewed 10 candidates over the past 25 days.

The Browns flew Pettine to Cleveland on Thursday afternoon for a third meeting and finalized the deal shortly thereafter.

As of Thursday morning, they were still mulling two finalists. League sources told cleveland.com that Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn remained in the mix right up until the end.

Pettine picked up steam in the search during his second interview with the Browns Tuesday night at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala. The session lasted for four hours, but the Browns left town without a deal. On hand for the meeting were Browns owner Jimmy Haslam, CEO Joe Banner, team president Alec Scheiner and general manager Mike Lombardi.

On Wednesday, they touched base with at least two other candidates, Falcons offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter and fired Bucs coach Greg Schiano. The Koetter interview was believed to be over the phone, and the Schiano session took place in Florida.