If Mike Pettine lasts longer than 16 games as the Cleveland Browns head coach then kudos to him. However, that probably isn’t going to happen as the Browns’ front office has shown time and time again it has less patience than a five-year old girl. Even still, Pettine has a job to do in 2014 as he looks to finally take all of Cleveland’s talent and turn it into victories.
Now, with the NFL morphing into such a pass-happy league, it’s rather difficult for a defensive coordinator to dominate from the get-go. For instance, it took new-age defensive minds like Ron Rivera and Leslie Frazier some time before even sniffing the postseason. Of course, Pettine hopes to be more like Rivera and less like Frazier.
One of the ways that Pettine can make his presence felt in just one year is to surround himself with players that he knows can play. First and foremost, I wouldn’t be surprised if Pettine starts to take a good hard look at Buffalo Bills safety Jarius Byrd, who will become an unrestricted free agent this March. Byrd and Pettine were rather close last season as the safety refused to answer any Pettine-related questions earlier in the week, but was clearly frustrated by the move.
Perhaps Byrd is just trying to start a bidding war between the Browns and Bills, but either way one of the NFL’s top safety could be on his way to the Midwest in a few short months.