Many fans of the Cleveland Browns are probably saying, ‘who?’ right about now. As in, who in the heck is Mike Pettine?
The Browns’ search for a new head coach is finally over. After going multiple weeks without someone at the helm, Pettine has been selected as the team’s lucky winner. I say that sarcastically, because we all know the history of Browns head coaches – not good.
Rob Chudzinski was canned after just one year on the job in Cleveland, making him the sixth head coach to leave town since 1999. That’s right, Pettine is the seventh Browns head coach in the last 15 years. All you can say to that is wow.
So is Pettine the guy who’s finally going to turn things around for the struggling franchise?
There’s really not a whole lot of evidence to say that he is. He’s never been a head coach on the college or professional level, which is somewhat worrisome. However, he was a head high school coach before making the leap to the NFL in 2002 as a coaching assistant with the Baltimore Ravens. Since then, he’s worked his way up the coaching ladder.
Pettine was a defensive position coach in Baltimore before he landed the defensive coordinator job with the New York Jets in 2009. You have to think his working with Rex Ryan in Baltimore played a role in him getting the DC job in New York. But now after one season in Buffalo as the DC, he’s apparently ready to run the whole show.
The 47-year old will have plenty of defensive talent to work with in Cleveland, but that’s not the unit holding the team back. I think the Browns’ defense will continue to improve in 2014 and that Pettine will have lots of success on that side of the ball. As for the offense, it’s really anyone’s guess what’s next.